3 Key Qualities of a Quality Heating and Cooling Professional

As a homeowner, you have a number of different responsibilities to make sure your home is in top condition at all times. However, it can be quite difficult to determine who the best professional is to bring in to do the job. You don’t want to end up with more problems than what you started with in the first place. The goal is to get the problem fixed, not make it worse.

Picking the wrong person to come in and repair your HVAC unit could end up costing you a lot of time, money and stress. Instead of having to try and clean up another mess from a repair job gone wrong, you should take the time and effort now to figure out what is going to be in your best interest. Spend some time researching technicians and looking for different qualities before settling on a specific technician for the job.

Plenty of Experience

Good contractors should have all of the necessary training and certification to back up their claims of experience in the field. Don’t look for just a company that is certified, but rather look for a company that is loaded with employees who are bonded, licensed and insured before settling on a technician.

Solid Reputation

Take some time to ask your friends and family members about who they have used in the past to do the job. You might be able to figure out someone who is going to be reputable without having to go through all of the stress and frustration of trying out different people to do the job. This will not only save you time, but it will also help to save you money on hiring someone who might not be capable of doing the job right.

Check out some of the reviews left by other clients online. Some contractors will even provide you with a list of some of their former clients for you to call and ask questions about how they did on the job. This will help to give you some insight into who the company is as a whole and whether they are going to be the right fit for you.

Policies and Pricing Right from the Start

Before hiring someone to come in and do the job in your home, you need to have them write something up that outlines their prices and policies to make sure you are on the same page before getting into the project. Find out how the contractor charges you. Is it by the hour or by the job? Are they going to make you pay extra for working on the weekend or after normal business hours?

If you aren’t able to get the answers to these questions right from the start, there is a good chance that this individual isn’t going to be worth your time and effort. You need someone who is going to be forthcoming and willing to answer your questions. Avoidance is a surefire sign that you need to look for someone else.

By looking for the qualities above, you can find the person you need in no time, while avoiding all of the hassles and headaches that come with choosing the wrong contractor for the job.

Would A Ducted HVAC System Hurt Your Allergies?

Every time we have an allergy attack, our instincts are to stay inside our homes. What you may not have been told is that your home’s HVAC system may be blowing irritants that can actually make your allergies worse. And for you to reduce the irritants that would worsen your allergies, it is important that you learn how your HVAC systems work and how it affects the quality of the air inside your home. The first thing you need to understand about your ducted HVAC system is that this is a part of your home that does not get cleaned extensively most of the time. Meaning, there is a good chance that the HVAC system is harboring irritants such as pollen and dust which can worsen your allergies.

Dust and pollen and other irritants hide within the HVAC ducts which can cause allergic reactions to sufferers every time the air conditioning system is used. This is the reason regular duct cleaning is needed to be scheduled to guarantee that the system would not be blowing in irritants and causing more problems to people suffering from allergies. Professional cleaners make use of brushes and suction equipment that effectively removes dirt and other irritants from the duct walls and the entire HVAC system. These cleaners also make use of professional grade filtration equipment so the irritants are not released into your home when the air conditioning or heating system is turned on. It is important to make sure that you are going to end up hiring the services of a cleaning company that you can trust.

There are a few things that you need to keep in mind prior to choosing a HVAC cleaning company. You need to make sure that you are going to spend some time learning more about these cleaning companies before you even get in touch with them. It is important to find out if the cleaning company has been around for a long time, making sure that you are going to hire a company that has a lot of experience cleaning HVAC systems for homeowners. It is also important to check if the cleaning company is recommended by their previous clients as this proves that not only is the cleaning company legit, they can also provide quality services and you can gather firsthand information on the quality of services they can offer. Make sure that you are going to study all of your available options before you decide to hire an HVAC system cleaning company to prove that you are going to hire a team that can provide reliable services.

Why It Is So Important To Tune Up Your Air Conditioning System To Spend Less

As the temperatures are set to rise again, air conditioners will soon be switched on for the first time again. However, don’t switch your air conditioner on until you have done a few things first. First and foremost, invest in a new filter. This is an easy thing to do with big consequences, as it will stop your unit from breaking down. You should also check how often you are supposed to change your filter when you use your air conditioner. Usually, once every 3 months is the bare minimum.

Secondly, have a tune up done on your unit. This must be done by a qualified contractor. Doing this is a type of prevention, allowing you to avoid various other problems later on. This way, any small problems will immediately be resolved, rather than letting them escalate into massive issues further down the line. During a tune up, you can expect your engineer to test all the electrical components, check the refrigerant pressure and clean all the coils. This will make the unit more efficient and hence cheaper to run. Do also remember that it doesn’t cost much to tune up an air conditioning unit, but it is very expensive to repair one if it breaks down.

Do make sure that you only work with companies that are highly professional and reputable. You must, therefore, spend some time researching the different companies, particularly if you haven’t used them to do a tune up before. In order to check the various companies, use ratings at the BBB (Better Business Bureau), online customer reviews and your state’s registrar of contractors. You should always look for the business that gives you the best value for money, which isn’t necessarily the cheapest. After the tuning has been completed, simply switch your air conditioning on and leave it running permanently. The reality is that you do not save money by switching your unit off when you are out. This is because your house will heat up massively, and it will take a lot more energy for the unit to cool it down again. Naturally, this means increased energy bills, but it also means that your air conditioning unit is far more likely to break down. Do remember that repairing an air conditioning unit is hugely expensive, above and beyond the cost of running it permanently. You will, however, benefit from a thermostat, which will make sure the temperature is simply kept stable in your home. Make sure your engineer checks the thermostat when they do the tune up as well. Obviously, if you have chosen to do a tune up, you will be able to see some real savings this summer.

Choosing From Gas Or Electric Furnaces And Heat Pumps

As soon as the weather starts to change, we start to think of new ways to heart or cool our home as well. Most of us immediately start looking for furnaces. Because there are both gas and electric furnaces, we usually research these two options before making a decision. However, the possibility also exists to choose neither and that could be a better option. Your personal situation will mainly determine whether or not a furnace really is the best choice for you. A few factors that are of importance include what you find comfortable, how much you care about the environment, and where you live. Instead of a furnace, you could also choose to install a heat pump. Not only are heat pumps more environmentally friendly, they also cost less to operate.

Obviously, in terms of carbon emissions, a heat pump is a much better option. This is due to the fact that they only use a tiny bit of electricity and otherwise use the earth and air’s warmth to generate energy. However, the difference between a heat pump and an electric furnace is often minimal. A gas furnace is obviously a very poor idea, since our planet is starting to run out of natural gases.

However, there are also people who care a lot less about green agendas. They care more about the money in their pocket and focus on operating costs. In terms of operating costs, the heat pump really breaks the mold. In fact, the heat pump is twice as efficient in terms of operating costs as any other option. However, your initial investment in a heat pump will be much higher than in a furnace. On the other hand, you will see a much quicker return on investment. There is some suggestion that natural gas furnaces are more effective in terms of heat production. Unfortunately, natural gas is starting to get rare, which means it is very expensive to buy. Although it may be possible that a new type of gas is found, at which point the gas furnace will be the best option, this isn’t the case yet. The reality is also that there are many other factors that may be of influence in helping you decide which one is best for you. It is generally recommended to try the different options first, so that you can determine which one makes you feel most comfortable. In doing this, you have the opportunity to work out which one gets the room up to the temperature you like the quickest for instance.

The 3 Main Problems You Are Likely To Experience With Your HVAC System

A HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system is a complicated piece of machinery. Yet, even though they are indeed complex machines, they don’t really need professional people to come out to fix them so long as you know how to care for them. Of course, there are some exceptions and certain problems do require professional help. Here are the 3 main reasons as to why you will need a professional to come out and help you.

A broken AC is the biggest reason why you need a professional. This problem is most commonly experienced during the very hot months. The air conditioning unit literally ends up getting overloaded. Unfortunately, too many users believe they are able to fix this problem themselves. This is foolish and dangerous, as it means dealing with condensers and compressors. Also, a self-repair will, in almost all cases, void the warranty on your HVAC system. A second common issue is when the HVAC system suddenly stop to produce heat. It is quite a similar problem to a broken AC. Very often, this problem appears very suddenly, without any warning. Just as with the broken AC, therefore, you should never solve this problem by yourself. In fact, if you do decided to repair it yourself, it is incredibly likely that it will end up in a worse state than before. Do also bear in mind that the cost of having your mistakes fixed will be a lot higher than the cost of simply having it repaired. The third most common problems have to do with external failures. Because a HVAC system has to expel excess heat towards the outside, a failure here is not unheard of. The motor on a HVAC system is often bad, which then causes the fan to fail, which in turn leads to the system completely shutting down. It is thanks to this automatic shut down that the system won’t overload. Only a professional is able to replace a motor and ensure that the other parts of the system are still fully functional.

It is important to remember that these are the three most commonly experienced problems, but that there are many others too. It is also important to call in the professional in case of thermostat failure, dirty condensers, a broken reversing valve, basic service and maintenance, broken boilers and furnaces and infestation. Although you will have to spend some money on a professional mechanic, you will have to spend a lot more money on one if you allow the problem to continue. It will cost a whole lot more money if you were to attempt to fix things yourself and then make the problem worse. Only professional help will do.

Cost-Effective Electric Underfloor Heating

Electric underfloor Heating Solutions

Electric underfloor heating is sometimes considered to be expensive. However, with the right choice of products and controls, it can in fact be a very cost-effective way to heat living environments.

This is due to the way that electric heating systems distribute the heat. They are controlled very easily with modern thermostats and they are very quick to change the environment temperature.

The electric underfloor heating products can be installed under a wide variety of flooring surfaces such as tile, laminate, carpet, wood and even outdoors under pavior, concrete and asphalt. Some products are simple enough to install without professional assistance.

What Is Radiant Heat?

Radiant heat is a unique transfer of energy that naturally searches out colder objects to warm. Radiant heating systems can be installed in the floor or ceiling and work in the same way. Radiant heat is in the form of energy waves. Instead of heating the air, these waves heat the surface of objects or people in the room. These surfaces include walls, windows, floors and ceilings. These surfaces then gently warm the surrounding air creating a more natural warmth with minimum floor to ceiling temperature variation compared to a traditional convective warm water central heating system.

Efficient & Clean

Traditional central heating systems work by air passing over warm water radiators. This creates convective warm air currents as warm air rises and cold air falls due to differences in their density. This creates a temperature differential in the room with the ceiling space being heated first. This leads to a “hot head / cold feet” syndrome and a stuffy environment.

By contrast, radiant heat is the most efficient form of heat distribution available. The objects in the room are heated first and they then gently warm the surrounding air. This means that the air temperatures can be lowered in the room whilst still maintaining comfort levels, resulting in a reduction in heating bills. As the air does not circulate there are no draughts created. Dust is not circulated in the room which brings higher comfort levels not only to allergy suffers but to everyone in the room. There is a more even vertical heat distribution throughout the room which is far closer to the ideal distribution.

Designed For Living

Radiant heating systems in the form of underfloor heating or ceiling heating are completely invisible and quiet in operation. Conventional warm water radiators do not contribute to the aesthetics of a room and influence room design. Installing a radiant floor or ceiling heating system completely invisible and unobtrusive, allows more flexibility in creating the perfect living environment.

For the most cost-effective underfloor heating solutions, visit Flexel International. Whether it’s underfloor heating for tile, laminate, carpet or outdoor solutions, there are cost-effective products to suit.

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Cast Iron Radiators For Heating Your Home

A homeowner is never more grateful of their heating systems than in times of appalling weather (such as the United Kingdom has been ‘enjoying’ in the last couple of months in which several inches of rain as well as snow has fallen all across the British Isles). In such times the demands being placed on heaters and radiators drastically increases. However, the necessity to use radiators at such times will inevitably lead to an increase in a homeowner’s monthly heating bills, possibly leading to many people striving to find either a means of ‘limiting the damage’ by finding a more efficient means of insulating their home or by purchasing a more efficient system of home heating. One means of heating which has experienced a surge in popularity over the last few years is the buying of Cast Iron Radiators.

There are several reasons as to why an increasing number of homeowners have endeavoured to purchase a more traditional style of heater such as Cast Iron Radiators rather than typical electrical convector heaters. The first of these reasons is the superiority of Cast Iron Radiators in terms of economic efficiency. Because of the ability of Cast Iron as metal to retain heat as well as produce heat even after being turned off, it means that a home owner has the potential of experiencing a considerable saving on energy costs.

Another practical benefit which also results in economic savings on behalf of a home owner who employs Cast Iron Radiators is the fact that the metal is exceptionally difficult to corrode, meaning that they have to be replaced less often, thereby saving on maintenance costs to be paid by the owner. The importance of this factor is truly recognised when one considers how Cast Iron Radiators actually operate: liquid water is heated within the pipes of the radiator until it boils into steam and is then passed through the radiator (heating the metal and producing the heat enjoyed by the homeowner) before cooling and then condensing into water. The fact that so much water is being passed over the metalwork of the radiator (both as liquid water and steam) demonstrates the importance of the resistance of Cast Iron to corrosion.

Also, as with many products available on the mass market nowadays, (especially home furnishings), there is a considerable role to be played by the aesthetic appeal of items so it would be naive, therefore, to suggest that the surge in demand for Traditional and Cast Iron Radiators over the last few years has had nothing to do with their attractive appearance.

In five easy steps we can help you create your very own cast iron radiator. Click here to visit our website for more information.

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The Benefits of Gas Central Heating

Over the course of human history, the human race have used a lot of different methods to heat their homes, from simple individual, wood fires in each room, to vast Roman under-floor heating systems, which required a team of servants to constantly stoke huge furnaces to heat the man-made caverns under the sumptuous ancient houses and royal palaces of the Roman Empire. In the present day, however, most people are looking for something that is a little less lavish than Roman hypocausts, and a little cleaner and safer than a wood-burning fire in every room. Nonetheless, the basic requirements are still the same, and people still want something which can heat their home through the long cold nights, the winter months and even something which can offer a little warmth on a chilly summer evening. Gas central heating may be the perfect solution for heating a modern home, and offers a system which is cheap to run, easy to use, and is energy efficient.

A good gas central heating system will allow you to install heating units in as many rooms of your house as you choose, which can be used as a whole unit to keep your entire home at a constant temperature, or they can be made to operate individually so that energy is not being wasted on heating a room which is not being used. Many systems include timers which will allow the heating to be switched on automatically at a pre-determined time, so that the individual units can begin to heat a room shortly before it is due to be used, or to begin heating certain rooms just before the household is due to get up for the day. This can help to save a lot of energy which would otherwise be wasted on heating unused rooms for the entire day, or it can help to save the household from the discomfort of having to sit in a cold room whilst they are waiting for it to heat up after having to manually switch the heating on.

One of the other benefits of a gas central heating system is that it does not require a lot of attention, so each heating unit does not have to be constantly monitored whilst it is in use to ensure that it remains safe. Although it is advisable to have periodic safety checks on all heating systems, these are often included in the price of the central heating unit. Although individual log fires can provide a beautiful focal point of a room, they must be attended to constantly, and they can be very dangerous if they are left unattended and spark and embers are able to spit form the fire, which could cause bigger fires.

Once they have heated up, gas central heating systems also produce a constant heat temperature until they are switched off and begin to cool down, whereas the heat from some other types of heating system, such as wood fires, can fluctuate a lot and may flare up and die down over the course of an evening.

Gas central heating can provide a house with a constant and consistent source of heat. A Gas central heating is safer and cleaner than wood-fires and more efficient than individual heating units. You can click here for more information.

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Skirting Board Heating as an Energy Saver

Skirting board heating purports to save energy for the home owner, by minimising the effort used by a boiler or heat source to achieve maximum temperature for a heating system. While this is broadly true, the claim needs to be examined in greater detail to find out just how much energy the system can save.

The skirting board system is designed with slender flow and return pipes, which require less water to fill and so less power to heat. The claim that a skirting heating system demands less of the boiler or heat source is therefore true.

However, the length or quantity of active heating in this system may be greater than the combined heated area of a traditional radiator system. So while the boiler or heat source is technically worked less hard to achieve the desired temperature, it may work for longer to push heat out to a greater overall area.

This increase in directly heated area is one of the big selling points for a skirting board radiator system. By heating more parts of a room directly (that is, with heat emanating from a proximate source rather than dissipating from a hot radiator at the other end of the room), the skirting system is potentially capable of delivering a more even room heat and working at a lower temperature than its radiator-based equivalent.

Of course the heated skirting system is effectively a radiator system too – just in miniature. So rather than concentrating all the heating power into one solid unit, which is required to kick that heat through the whole cubic area of the space it is supposed to heat, the skirting board version spreads it out.

In terms of simple physics, then, the energy requirements for both ought to be roughly the same. If the skirting board heating system is simply a collection of very small radiators, all of which draw power from the same boiler type and raise the average heat of the room to the same mean temperature; then the power they use to do it should be roughly identical.

The difference lies in the fact that the maximum temperature required to attain the heat mean is considerably lower, when the radiant heat source is spread throughout the room. This means that the boiler or central heating power source is not required to over-exert itself – and so uses a degree less fuel attaining the set temperatures. This is roughly analogous to the difference in fuel consumption between driving a car fast and driving it at a more measured pace.

The serious savings offered by the heated skirting board system happen when the property owner connects it to lower energy heat sources; and installs new insulation to go with the new system. By connecting heated skirting boards to a heat source with a lower maximum temperature (like an air source heat pump), the property owner curtails the amount of high energy output the system can deliver. The heat source can perfectly easily operate at lower mean temperatures because (as noted) the heated skirting boards themselves don’t need to be warmed up to the same degree to deliver the overall temperature required for the home.

The basic conclusion to draw, then, is this – a heated skirting board system has the capacity to save energy over more traditional central heating systems. But it needs help to reach its full potential. Thermostats and zoned heating controls help; as do new insulation and the inclusion of a low powered heat source at the heart of the installation. The more energy saving factors a home owner combines, the more noticeable the energy saving effect.

Heated Skirting: http://www.heated-skirting.co.uk/

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Preparing Your Air Conditioning Unit For Winter

As Labor Day draws closer and cooler weather is just around the corner, it is time to think about winterizing your home. The outside air conditioning unit your family has been using all Summer to stay cool is one of the first appliances you should consider winterizing. During the winter season, protecting your A/C unit from cold weather, ice and snow is important to extending the lifespan of your machine, and ensuring it works properly next summer. To keep your cooling system in excellent working condition, follow the following tips.

First you’ll want to locate the circuit on the outside of your home and switch your air conditioner off. Switching the power off at the source will protect you from electrical shocks while working on winterizing the machine. Shutting down the power will also prevent the air conditioner from accidentally turning on during the winter which could allow water to seep in to the mechanism and cause serious damage and rust. Next, you’ll need to clean the air conditioner by washing it with a hose to remove any debris from the machine. Remove any stubborn items like leaves, grass clippings and branches by hand. Allow for enough time for the unit to fully dry before moving on to the next step, covering the cooling system. All parts of the air conditioner must be covered in preparation for winter. Start by covering the exposed pipes leading to and from the machine with foam pipe covers. The foam covers insulate the pipes and protect them from freezing and breaking during sub-zero temperatures. The main unit should be covered by a tight fitting plastic or vinyl cover. Make sure that the cover is waterproof. Duct tape can be used to hold covers in place. You should check to make sure the coverings are secure at least once every month during summer months. Brush off any snow, ice, and debris each time you check the system.

Any debris that penetrate your coverings can cause serious and long term damage to your cooling unit. If you take care to properly winterize your system, when Summer comes again you’ll be able to re-connect power and start it up again with no problems. Although proper preventative measures are a great start, you should also schedule an appointment with a heating and cooling professional to come and clean and service your A/C before you put it into use. Scheduling an appointment before the heat of Summer descends in your region will save you from long waits for service calls, so it is recommended that you make your appointment early.

Air conditioning maintenance is a project many homeowners are comfortable doing them selves, but others choose to employ a HVAC professional for the job. To prepare my A/C for winter I chose Denver’s best heating and cooling specialist, Million Air Mechanical to install my air conditioning system. They are also very skilled in problems with heating systems.

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