Air Mechanical, Inc. Blog: Posts Tagged ‘East Bethel’

Heating Question: Why Get a New Heating System?

Monday, October 1st, 2012

With cold weather fast approaching, it’s natural to think about making sure your Andover heating system is in good shape for the coming winter. Most of the time, that just means getting a tuneup, but if your system is getting older or you have some concerns about its performance, it may be time to consider getting a new heating system.

Upgrading for Efficiency

Especially if your current heating system is more than 10 years old, it can be worth upgrading to a newer model. That’s because the systems now available are so much more energy efficient than their predecessors that you can sometimes cut your heating costs dramatically by switching to a new system.

To determine if that’s the best course of action for you, you’ll have to calculate your current heating costs, projected heating costs with a new system and balance that against the cost of the installation. But more often than not, you’ll find that the new system will quickly pay for itself, making it a sound investment.q

Eliminate Frequent Repairs

If your heating system requires even minor repairs on a regular basis, it’s probably time to invest in a new system. Having a professional come out that often is costly, and even if the repairs themselves aren’t that complex, a system in this state probably isn’t operating at peak energy efficiency. Basically, that means you’re paying extra to heat your home and extra in repair bills, both of which could be eliminated by installing a new system.

Your current system will also probably break down completely relatively soon, meaning you’ll have to make that investment in the next year or two anyway. By upgrading now, you can make the same investment without paying for a year or two of repairs and higher than necessary energy bills.

For more information about installing a new heating system in Andover, give Air Mechanical a call today!

Continue Reading

Heating Contractor Guide: Components of a Geothermal Heating System

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

A geothermal heating system in your East Bethel home has three basic components and some add-on ones as well.

Its most distinguishing feature is the ground loops. The most common is the closed ground loop system, which is a series of pipes that are buried underground. These pipes contain a heat transfer fluid, comprised of antifreeze and water. This fluid absorbs heat from the ground and carries it to the home. This fluid also absorbs heat from the house and sends it into the ground to keep the home cool.

Examples of closed loop systems include the horizontal closed loop, which can be used in larger parcels of land (over an acre for example). The loops are placed typically placed horizontally 6-to-10 feet below the surface. A vertical closed loop design is recommended for smaller parcels of land and loops are often buried vertically approximately 20 feet underground. Other types of ground loop designs use well water to transfer heat in an open loop configuration, or have a closed loop submerged underwater in a pond or lake.

The next component is the heat pump, which draws the fluid from the ground loop. In a heat pump, heat energy is exchanged with the ground to heat or cool the home. In the heating mode, fluid warmed from underground flows through the heat pump. A fan blows across the pipe warmed by the fluid. Because the fluid is much warmer than the air inside the heat pump, heat energy is released into the cooler air. The cool air is warmed and distributed inside the home. The process is reversed for cooling. Cool fluid in the pipe absorbs heat from the warm air inside the home. Once pumped underground, the excess heat in the fluid is absorbed by the cooler earth.

The final component is the air handling or distribution system. Here, a fan in the heat pump’s furnace blows air over a fan coil and the heated cooled air is distributed through the home’s ductwork. Some distribution systems are hydronic, where hot water is circulated through radiators or radiant floor heat tubing. This water absorbs heat from the heat pump and then distributed throughout the home.

In some homes, both a forced air and hydronic system, often referred to as a “hybrid system” work together.

Optional components include a heat pump “desuperheater,” which is used to help with domestic hot water heating. In warm weather, the desuperheater recovers some of the heat – that would otherwise be sent to the ground loop – to help produce hot water. In cold weather, some of the heat pump capacity may be diverted from space heating for the same purpose. Desuperheaters save approximately 25% on domestic water heating costs.

Another component is an auxiliary electric heater, which is built into the geothermal heat pump. This auxiliary electric heat is installed to allow East Bethel heating and cooling technicians to size – or resize – a home’s geothermal heat pump system to assist the system during the few coldest days of the year. Auxiliary electric heat is also an emergency backup heat source if there are any operational issues with the geothermal heat pump system.

Continue Reading

How a Furnace Works: A Guide from Champlin

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Do you know how your furnace works? Believe it or not, lots of Champlin homeowners probably can’t explain the operation of furnace. It probably isn’t at the top of your “to do” list. It’s only important to know that once you set your thermostat to a desired temperature, the furnace comes on and warms the house.

The most common furnace is fueled by natural gas but there are other examples of heating equipment such as boilers, electric baseboard, or geothermal. But let’s look at how a gas furnace works since natural gas is found in most U.S. households. Gas furnaces use natural gas or propane to provide energy used for generating heat.

When the temperature in your home falls below the level set on the thermostat, an electric pilot light automatically ignites to heat a burner inside the furnace. This burner uses gas to generate heat within a combustion chamber inside the furnace. After the furnace senses that the thermostat has triggered the flame and that it is properly lit, the actual spark (or ignitor) is turned off.

Simultaneously, a motor in the furnace pulls in air from an exchange or return, which could be a grill in the floor, ceiling, or wall of a house. That air flows through ducts into the plenum of the furnace. The plenum is on the opposite side of the heat exchanger from the burner.

Gas will typically burn for at least two minutes before the blower starts to disperse heat throughout your home. This extra time gives the air an adequate period of time to warm up and also so that cold air won’t be pushed through the vents into the rooms in your house at the start. After either the preset time (roughly two minutes) or pre-established temperature is reached, the blower’s motor is turned on and it blows air over the heat exchanger, which usually consists of a series of copper tubes or pipes. When a fan blows air onto the heat exchanger, the air is heated. This heated air is then blown through a series of ducts to heat your home via vents in the floor, walls or ceiling. Exhaust fumes from the combustion process exit the furnace through a gas flue or chimney.

Just as the heat in your home turns on when a certain temperature is reached, it also turns off after the rooms are warm enough, thanks to your thermostat. The thermostat again senses the temperature in the room. When the room warms up to the temperature set by you at the thermostat, the gas valve is switched off, stopping the flow of gas. After the gas is turned off, the blower motor will still run for a few minutes, allowing the heat exchanger to cool off a bit. In some furnaces, the blower motor never shuts off, but operates at low speed to keep air circulating throughout your home.

In a nutshell, your thermostat is the brain in your heating system and your furnace is the brawn, doing most of the work.

Continue Reading

When to Replace Your Air Conditioning System: A Tip From Oak Grove

Monday, September 5th, 2011

One of the last things you probably want to think about is replacing the current air conditioning system in your Oak Grove home. However, the time will come when you can no longer ignore the fact that your air conditioning system is not getting the job done like it used to. And considering your replacement options early can help save you a lot of money and aggravation in the long run.

Before you can start looking at replacement options, though, you need to be aware that the time has come to replace your current model. But how can you tell that your air conditioner is on its way out? Well, there are actually quite a few warning signs that, if you are attuned to them, will help you determine whether or not it is the right time to replace.

First of all, if you have to call for repairs, even minor ones, on a regular basis, chances are that you would be better off replacing rather than continuing to patch up the air conditioning system you already have. This is true for several reasons including the fact that a system that requires repairs so often is probably not going to last you much longer anyway.

By replacing now rather than continuing to pay for repairs, you will save a lot of money in the long run. After all, you are going have to pay for the new system sooner or later, so you might as well skip the shelling out of extra cash to repair a system you are just going to get rid of anyway.

Problems like inadequate or uneven cooling or mismanaged humidity levels in your home are a good sign that something is not working right in your air conditioning system and that it may be time to replace. At the very least, you should call someone out to take a look and let you know what type of repairs you are looking at.

You should also think about replacing an older system even if it is still working fine because the newer systems available are much more energy efficient than even the top of the line models available ten years ago. While you will have to pay the purchase and installation cost up front, you will immediately begin to save substantial amounts on your monthly cooling bills.

Continue Reading

The Advantages of an Air Conditioning System in East Bethel

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Just about everyone knows that air conditioning systems keep your East Bethal home’s indoor environment cool and comfortable during the hot summer months. While this may be enough of a benefit for you, there are also some other benefits to having a central air conditioning system installed in your house as well.

For instance, if you have someone in your household who is more susceptible to extreme temperatures than most people, an air conditioning system can actually help improve their overall health. Babies certainly fall into this category, as they have more difficulty than older children or adults do controlling their body temperature.

Also, many elderly people or people suffering from certain medical conditions, particularly heart conditions, are especially sensitive to the heat. If they are unable to stay cool, it can be very dangerous and damaging to their health, and an air conditioning system helps to guarantee that they will be able to stay cool and comfortable even on the hottest days of the year.

Aside from direct health concerns, air conditioning systems can also help to alleviate the symptoms of colds and allergies. They do this by controlling the level of humidity inside your home. If the air in your house is too moist or too dry, it can exacerbate cold and allergy symptoms, as well as dry out skin and make the indoor environment generally uncomfortable.

Proper humidity control is also important because it helps to ensure that any air filtration or purification system you have in place is able to operate at peak efficiency. Many of these units have a hard time extracting particulate contaminants from the indoor air that circulates through them if that air is too humid or too dry. With a state of the art air conditioning system in place, however, you will not have to worry about whether or not the humidity level in your home is out of balance.

It is also worth noting that a central air conditioning system can be preferable to a window mounted unit because it provides for a more even distribution of cool air throughout the house. Also, when you have a central air conditioning system, the condenser which is the source of most of the noise and vibrations that air conditioners make will be located outside and out of earshot. With window mounted units, on the other hand, there is really no way to block out or diminish the noise.

Continue Reading

How Much Water Will I Save with a Low Flow Toilet?

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

There are many reasons why you might want to save water in your Ramsey home. Not only does it save you money, cutting down on your annual water bill, but it allows you to do your part in reducing the impact of modernity on our environment. And of all the appliances and plumbing fixtures in our homes, the toilet is among the worst offenders when it comes to wasting water.

That is why the advent of the low flush toilet has been very well received. While the 1.6 gpf toilet (standard toilets are 3.5 gpf) was originally invented in the 1990s, it is only now becoming more widespread as issues with things like clogging and multiple flushes were commonplace with the earliest models.

So, how much water can a low flush toilet actually save you? On average a 3.5 gpf toilet uses around 27,300 gallons of water per year. By comparison the 1.6 gpf toilet uses only 12,500 gallons per year. That is less than half as much water. With the average toilet using up to 30% of the daily water flow in a home, it is a fantastic way to cut back on your environmental footprint, and if your water bills tend to be high, it will severely reduce them as well.

Other Ways to Save Water

Low Flush Toilets are a great way to cut back on the amount of water we use in our homes, but there are other ways as well. In terms of fixtures, low flow shower heads are very popular right now and can help to cut back another 15% of your annual water use. You can also purchase lower flow faucets for your kitchen and bathroom sinks. High quality hot water heaters that provide hot water as needed are also good for reducing water use as you will not need to leave the faucet or bath running for any period of time.

Whether you want to cut a few dollars from your monthly bill or simply want to do your part to protect our environment, a low flush toilet is definitely the way to go, especially if you are remodelling or moving into a new home and the choice is there for you to take. It may still be good to compare the price of a regular to low flush toilet if you already have a working toilet in your home, but for new installations it is almost always a good deal.

Continue Reading