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

Smart Thermostat Options for the Geothermal System in Your Lynnwood Home

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Many people underestimate the effect that their thermostat can have on the efficiency of their geothermal system. An improperly placed or poorly calibrated thermostat can wind up costing you more money for less performance from your home comfort systems. Likewise, a quality thermostat properly used can help boost energy efficiency.

Smart thermostats have many features that allow you more control over the way in which energy is used in your Lynnwood home. If you’re considering upgrading to a smart thermostat here are some features you may want to consider.

  • Programmable Features: There are a lot of programmable thermostats on the market allowing you to create different temperature control programs and schedules. This lets you maintain specific temperatures throughout different times of the day without having to be at home, even when away on vacation. You can come home to a comfortable environment without having to run your home comfort systems at high levels throughout the day to do so. Smart thermostats offer more programmable features with many added capabilities.
  • Remote Temperature Control: If programmable settings aren’t offering you as much control as you’d like over your geothermal heat pump, many smart thermostats allow you to access your system remotely using a laptop or even your smart phone. Adjust temperature settings no matter where you are in real time for true home comfort control.
  •  Track Energy Usage: If you want to see exactly where your utility costs are being used a smartphone can help you do so. By tracking energy use in your home you can determine where inefficiency is a problem and energy is being wasted. Use this energy to fix problems and decrease energy costs.
  • Occupancy Detection Sensors: Some smart thermostats have the option of controlling temperatures on their own. With occupancy detection sensors your smart thermostat can determine when rooms are unoccupied or even when occupants are sleeping and will adjust the temperature accordingly. This takes manually setting your thermostat out of the equation.
  • Review Energy Reports: Your new smart thermostat can provide you with valuable information, compiling energy use data over a period of time, as much as 10 days on some models. Use this information to better understand your home heating and cooling habits. Look for recurring energy spikes or wastefulness, tweak your habits, and save energy.

When properly used a smart thermostat can be a great tool in the fight for energy efficiency. If you have any questions about their function or available models in your area, call G&S Heating. We have the information you need to start getting the most out of the geothermal system in your Lynnwood home.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

From all of us here at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electric, we want to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. We hope that you are spending time with the people you care for most and taking this day to remember all the things that you are grateful for in your life.

We also want to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to all of our customers for your loyalty and the opportunity you have given us to provide you with service. As you know, we couldn’t do what we do without YOU!

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Woodinville Heating Tip: What to Check if Your Geothermal Heat Pump Isn’t Working

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Are you having trouble with the geothermal heat pump system in your Woodinville area home? Call the heating professionals G& S. We can help you out any time, and we can go over some ways to prevent breakdowns and repair needs.

Here are some potential reasons you may be having issues with your geothermal heating system.

Common Issues with Geothermal Heat Pump Systems

Some common issues with geothermal heat pump systems are leaking underground pipes, malfunctioning heat pump, or mineral buildup in open loop systems. Mineral buildup is caused by hard water, and you may want to consider some sort of water filtration system. A leaking underground pipe in the loop system or broken heat pump will require a service technician. Call a contractor who is qualified to work with geothermal heating systems to make any repairs or adjustments with your system.

Heat Pump Not Turning On

If the heat pump itself is not turning on, make sure you have it in heating mode. If the settings are correct, then check to see if there’s been a blown fuse or other electrical issue. Some models require an extra step if the system shuts down at any time due to a power outage. Check your owner’s manual if you aren’t sure how to locate this or other safety devices. Call the technicians at G&S if none of these steps work.

Not Providing Enough Heat

If your geothermal system isn’t providing enough heat, make sure the thermostat is set at the right temperature. The thermostat may not be accurate and will need to be adjusted or relocated to avoid “ghost readings.” Also check the other geothermal settings and make sure you have them on the right ones for the heating mode.

The Woodinville heating technicians also repair and service existing geothermal systems, and we would be glad to help you decide if your old system is not providing enough heat, or if there’s another issue. Call G&S any time to answer all your questions about geothermal heat pump systems.

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Woodinville Tip: Why Do I Need to Upgrade my Fuse box?

Monday, November 12th, 2012

If your home in Woodinville has a fuse box, it was likely built many years ago. Fuse boxes were used to route electricity throughout your home. Upgrading your fuse box involves replacing it with a new circuit breaker. There are many advantages to replacing your fuse box which we’re going to discuss in this blog post.

How Fuse Boxes Work

The purpose of fuse boxes and circuit breakers is to first route power to your house and second to keep your house from burning down. Electricity produces heat as it passes through the copper wires leading into and out of the fuse box. If the wires get too hot they can start a fire which obviously poses a great danger to you and your family. As electricity flows into each of the circuits for your home, it has to pass through a fuse. Inside the fuse is a thin piece of metal (called a filament) that heats up. If the wire gets too hot it will melt the filament and break the circuit. Once a fuse has melted it can’t be reused.

Insurance and Code Compliance

In many municipalities an old fuse box isn’t within compliance of new building codes. This could also have to do with the old wiring that was most likely installed when the fuse box was. In order to be compliant, you may have to replace your fuse box with a new circuit breaker. However, many new breakers are very sensitive. The old wiring could case the new breaker to trip often which is a nuisance. Additionally, most mortgage insurance companies won’t cover a home that has an old fuse box because of the damage risk. Mortgage insurance is required by many lenders so in this case you will most likely have to replace the fuse box as well.

Safety

One of the main reasons to upgrade your fuse box is for safety. It was most likely installed about 50 years ago and is obsolete. If the fuse does melt, it needs to be replaced. Once the fuse is removed it leaves both ends of the contact exposed which can be an electrocution danger.

Power Available Power

When fuse boxes were installed, the electrical demands of a typical home were much less than they are now. Fuse boxes are normally limited to 2 or 4 circuits. Circuit breakers can potentially have room for us to 42 circuits.

If you have any questions about your fuse box or if it is continually breaking fuses, call G&S Heating immediately. We can help you figure out a good option for your home in Woodinville. We take pride in our workmanship and would love you help you get your home working well again.

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Get Your Kirkland Home Winter Ready

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Think about it. Sledding, skiing, hot chocolate and snowball fights. Winter should be a fun time of the year. Don’t let your utility bills suck the fun out of your winter experience. There are plenty of ways in which you can boost energy efficiency in Kirkland this winter, allowing you to keep warm and cozy while also keeping some money in the bank. Here are a few ideas to get you started. See what else you can come up with to make the most of your winter enjoyment this year.

  • Use Your Ceiling Fans: Think ceiling fans are just for summer? Think again. Many people do not realize that their ceiling fans actually have two setting, and we don’t mean high or low. There is a switch on the fixture that allows you to control which way the fan blades rotate. On most ceiling fans the winter setting has the blades going clockwise. This forces air downwards, and since heat rises the fan pushes warm air back down into your living space.
  • Weatherstripping and Shrink Wrapping: One of the most common causes of heat loss is poor sealing around your doors and windows. There are easy, cost effective ways to fix this, though. Weatherstripping your doors is a quick, affordable way to prevent heated air from making an exit. Spring for a heavy duty material on those doors that get the most use. Windows are another heat loss culprit, but cheap plastic sheeting can go a long way towards energy efficiency. Shrink wrapping your windows is a simple way to keep your heat inside. The hard part is keeping the cats away.
  • Use Your Fireplace: It seems that a number of folks are under the impression that fireplaces are ornamental. Get your chimney professionally inspected and cleaned before winter arrives and put that fireplace to good use. There are few things more soothing than a fire in the den (assuming it’s in the fireplace, of course) so grab some wood and enjoy the comfort that a live fire can provide.
  • Bundle Up: It’s a simple step and it may seem obvious, but a lot of people reach for the thermostat rather than for a sweater. Once you’re in for the night pull out those comfy clothes that you wouldn’t dare wear out in public. Drop the thermostat down a few degrees, throw on the sweats and enjoy a cozy night at home.

These simple steps will get you on your way to an efficient, affordable heating season. Add your own ideas to the list and share them with a friend. Everyone loves going into spring with a few extra bucks in the bank.

If you have any questions regarding getting your Kirkland home winter ready, give the heating experts at G & S Heating, Cooling & Electric a call. We offer heating services in Kirkland and would be more than happy to chat with you.

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