G & S Heating Cooling & Electric Blog: Archive for July, 2012

Monroe Geothermal Guide: Geothermal Installation Steps

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Are you interested in geothermal heating and cooling? Are you considering using the natural heating and cooling energy of the Earth as a way to keep your Monroe home at a comfortable temperature?

If you are, you probably have a lot of questions, not the least of which have to do with the installation process. You may assume that it is complicated, but in most cases it is quite simple. Here is a simple summary of the steps involved in installing a geothermal system:

  1. The very first step, before any kind of installation can even be planned, is to evaluate the ground on which your Monroe home sits to be sure it can support a geothermal system. The area must be evaluated for soil and rock composition, availability of ground and surface water and availability of land.
  2. Once you have determined that your yard can handle a geothermal system, it is time to choose the type of system you need. This depends a lot on the evaluation from step 1, as well as some other factors. For one example, if you have very little land available, you may need to opt for a vertical loop configuration. For another, if you are fortunate enough to have a small body of water on your property, you can take advantage of a pond loop installation.
  3. Your contractor will dig and/or drill trenches for placement of the geothermal pipes. Try not to be nervous. This only takes a couple of days and they will disrupt your yard as little as possible.
  4. With the trenches prepared, pipes can be placed in accordance with the configuration you chose.
  5. Your contractor will fill the trenches back in to cover the pipes loosely. You may want to work with a landscaper to fully “re-assemble” your yard where the pipes were installed.
  6. Finally, the installation team will hook up the geothermal system to your home, make any necessary final adjustments, and you are good to go!

If you’re interested in geothermal heating for your home, consider contacting G & S today to discuss the installation process for your home.

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Landscaping, Your AC, and Saving Money!

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Who knew that proper landscaping of your home could save you money?  It’s true!  Our Everett air conditioners will work harder and more frequently than we would ever want to in direct sunlight, so landscaping is a way of giving the AC a break while at the same time saving money on utility bills.

  • Cut back any overgrown bushes or plants nearby, and remove any weeds growing near or over the AC unit, in order to ensure proper air circulation is maintained in the space immediately surrounding the AC unit. It might even be prudent to place stepping stones or cement in the foot of space immediately surrounding the AC unit, to keep a good barrier between the unit and surrounding foliage.
  • Pull out that green thumb and plant some flowers or greenery surrounding but not too close to the AC unit, making it a part of the yard’s landscaping, rather than an eye-sore which stands out.
  • Get your air conditioner under the shade.  This can be done simply by adding trees or tall bushes near the AC unit, protecting it from the blazing sun.  AC units can also be moved to the North side of a house or other building, making sure they are under the shade during the heat of the day.  Ensuring an AC unit is in the shade can mean not only saving approximately 5% on cooling bills, but can also increase the energy efficiency of the air conditioning unit by upwards of 10%.
  • Add trees or tall foliage all around a property to provide shade directly on the home or building, which can additionally contribute to overall cooling of the yard and buildings being cooled.

Proper landscape maintenance near, upkeep of, and airflow to an air conditioning unit ensures that there is reduced wear and tear on your Everett AC unit, helping it to run more efficiently for a much longer period of time.  Pay attention to your AC unit and it will provide a great service for many years. To schedule a maintenance appointment today, give G & S a call!

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Bellevue AC Guide: Indoor Air Conditioning Components

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Cool air on a hot day is a precious commodity, but modern technology has made it as basic in our lives as a part of most homes, businesses and the places we visit.  Often taken for granted, the process of air conditioning has many components to help perform the cooling process.

Air Conditioning 101

Utilizing a process of rapid evaporation and condensation, air conditioning is a process which involves the rapid evaporation and condensation of chemicals called refrigerants.  These are compounds that have properties allowing them to change from gas to liquid and back again at low temperatures.

When evaporating into a gaseous state, the refrigerant absorbs heat.  Compressed tightly together again, it condenses back into liquid, releasing that heat in the form of condensation which can be evacuated to the outdoors. Air is blown over the cooled liquid in the circulating system and distributed to the rooms through a system of duct works.

Round and Round

The refrigerant circulates through a closed loop system and maintains a delicate balance of pressure to compel its transformations. There are four components to the system:

  • the compressor
  • the condensing coil
  • the expansion valve, and
  • the evaporator coil

Starting with a compressor, the molecules are packed together tightly, creating and absorbing heat and becoming liquid.  The heated liquid enters the condenser coils, a series of delicate fins which allow the heat to dissipate to the outside.

The expansion valve controls the amount of liquid entering the evaporator coils.  If too much refrigerant is allowed at once, the system “floods” and is too dense to evaporate.  If there is too little, it idles inefficiently.

The evaporator coils are similar to the condensing coils with a series of fins, only these absorb heat from the conditioned space as the expanding refrigerant returns to gas and heads towards the compressor.

Inside and Out

Unlike the closed loop refrigerant system which is all about containment and control, the distribution system is about sending the heated and cooled air in different directions.  Employing two fans and extensive duct work, the heat is absorbed at one point and released to the outside at another.

Warm air from the conditioned space is blown over the evaporating coil where the heat which is needed to fill the expanding spaces between molecules gets absorbed by the gas.  The same blower that draws the heated air blows the cooled air back into the home, office or business.

Along the condensing coils, during the process of returning to liquid, the heat is released and blown to the outdoors by a second fan.

For more information about your Bellevue air conditioning system or to schedule a service call, contact G & S today!

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A/C or Heat Pump Tune Up Only $149

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Give G&S Heating, Cooling & Electric a call today to take advantage of this savings! Make sure your Air Conditioning system is tuned up and ready to keep you cool all summer long!

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Seattle HVAC Tip: How Often Should I Have My Geothermal System Checked?

Monday, July 9th, 2012

The beauty of a geothermal system in Seattle is that is requires very little maintenance. They have fewer mechanical components are than other heating systems – and most of these components are underground or inside, shielded from the outdoor elements. The underground tubing usually is guaranteed to last 25-50 years and inside components are easily accessible for servicing.

Nonetheless, keeping a geothermal system working at peak efficiency is very important. If the geothermal system loses some of its efficiency, it will cost home and building owners money in energy costs, which makes little sense since geothermal system installation costs are higher than most other heating systems.

Its key component is the ground loop system, polyethelene tubing which carries refrigerant from below the Earth’s surface and back to an above-ground compressor. When installed correctly, the buried ground loop can last for decades. A leak in the metal tubing is usually the only problem if the ground loop is not installed correctly. In the case of a leak, it may be necessary to dig up the tubing – often installed at least ten feet below the surface – and repair the leak.

Other geothermal system components include its air handling unit, compressor, and pump. These components require periodic system checks by qualified professional heating and cooling technicians. Maintenance normally requires filter changes and component lubrication, to name the most common. It is recommended that an experienced technician perform a multiple-point inspection of the geothermal system components, usually during regularly scheduled annual or bi-annual service calls. To schedule your appointment today, give G & S a call today!

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Seattle Air Conditioning Q/A: Why Replace Your Indoor and Outdoor AC Components at the Same Time

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Do you need to replace one of the main components of your Seattle split AC system? If so, you are probably tempted to just replace whichever unit is failing in order to fix the problem quickly and cheaply. This is not always the best way to go, however. Here are six reasons why you should replace both the indoor and outdoor units at the same time.

#1: Cost

Although replacing just the failing component – whether indoor or outdoor – will be less expensive up front, that choice often proves more costly overall. You will see just what that means in the rest of these reasons.

#2: Advances in design

Heating and cooling technology is always advancing, so since you purchased your AC system, the products on the market have gotten quieter, more efficient and better overall. By replacing just the failing indoor component, you won’t reap all the benefits of this new technology, as the older outdoor component will still lag behind the times.

#3: Higher efficiency

When both units are replaced at the same time, and with models that have the same technology, they work together more efficiently. That means more savings on your bills and a more comfortable home.

#4: Matched system

Split AC systems are designed such that the indoor units are engineered to work best with a matching outdoor unit. When the system is matched, you get optimum performance and efficiency. By replacing just one component, you lose the benefits of that matching, meaning degraded efficiency and performance.

#5: Warranty considerations

A new system means new warranty coverage. Replacing both units at once means a whole new warranty that covers your whole cooling system, so you won’t have to worry about paying for any more replacements jobs for a long time.

#6: Wear and tear

Finally, think about the wear and tear your Seattle air conditioning system has undergone since it was installed. Maybe only your outdoor unit needs to be replaced now, but since your indoor unit has tolerated the same number of hours of use, it may be on its way out sooner than later. It’s like when you buy new tires for your car– you don’t buy one or two, you buy a whole set of four so that the whole system starts fresh. That way you only do it once, and not again in six months or a year.

For all these reasons, replacing both components of a split system is often the best and least expensive route to choose when facing a replacement. For more information about air conditioning system replacement in Seattle, give G & S a call!

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