G & S Heating Cooling & Electric Blog: Archive for October, 2013

What’s So Great About Geothermal?

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Geothermal power is a popular topic today, both for businesses and homes. Many HVAC companies now offer installation of geothermal heat pumps for houses, and more and more homeowners have taken advantage of these systems and raved about the results.

So… what’s the big deal? Why is geothermal rising in popularity? And what can a geothermal system do for you?

We’ll address these questions in this post. If you think the advantages of a geothermal heat pump are something you want working for you, contact our Lynnwood, WA geothermal experts at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. Here are the reasons we think geothermal heat pumps are a terrific option:

Environmentally friendly

When it comes to “green” energy options, geothermal is one of the best. Geothermal systems use the natural energy of the earth’s heat and have almost no emissions such as greenhouse or ozone depleting gasses.

Dependability

As opposed to the other most popular green option for home heating, solar, geothermal systems depend on the very steady heat within the earth, which has only slight fluctuations no matter the time of year.

Efficiency

For the amount of electricity they use, a geothermal heat pump returns six times that amount in heating/cooling power. And they already use less electricity than most home appliances.

Safety

Because geothermal heat pumps do not use natural gas or propane, they pose no risk from toxic fumes. Their low electrical-power use also means they pose a reduced hazard from fires.

Quiet operation

The loops of a geothermal system are primarily buried in the land around your house, so you will hear no sound at all from this part of their operation. The interior unit runs with minimal noise pollution.

Are you ready to run out right now and purchase a geothermal system? It’s good if you are—but you do need to take some time to consider the choice. Geothermal heat pumps will not work for every house in every location: they have some specific requirements. The best route to take if you want the benefits of a geothermal system is to consult with an HVAC company that handles installing them and has years of experience. A professional can visit your house and property to determine if a geothermal heat pump will work for you. You’ll also need the professional to handle installing the system, since this is a complex task you should never attempt on your own or entrust to an amateur.

G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. has served the Puget Sound area with heating and cooling solutions since 1977, and we take pride in our work with geothermal systems. Contact us for geothermal service in Lynnwood, WA today.

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How Does Electricity Work?

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

For thousands of years, the power of electricity remained a mystery to humanity. Ancient civilizations created gods to account for the lights that arced through the clouds and struck the ground during storms: Zeus, Odin, Teshub, Indra, The Thunderbird. Science began to make strides in understanding electricity in the 17th century, and in the 19th electrical engineering managed to harness the power that changed human life. No longer a strange phenomenon or a bizarre toy, electricity changed into an essential part of everyday existence. In your daily life in Lynnwood, WA, electrical power is a must.

But how does electricity actually work? People may know how electrical items work, like a light bulb, but how does the energy itself operate? It would take a long discussion to fully explain, but our staff at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. will give you a short version:

Electricity starts as an electric charge, which is a basic property of subatomic particles. This creates and gives rise to electromagnetic force, one of the four basic forces of nature. (The other three are gravitational, strong nuclear, and weak nuclear.)

Three properties are essential for electricity: voltage (the force that moves an electrical charge), amperage/amps (the measure of the amount of electrons the voltage is moving), and resistance (the force that intensifies the energy of the electrons).

When the electrons in an atom that carry an electric charge are excited into motion, it is known as electric current. The force that moves the electrical charge is EMF (“electromotive force), or more commonly, voltage.

Voltage moves the current through a circuit, which consists of the source (e.g. a battery), the load (e.g. a light bulb), and two conductors (e.g. wires) that carry the current from the source to the load. The electrical source must have a positive and negative terminal. The negative terminal pushes electrons along the circuit to the load and then runs back to the positive terminal on the source, creating a full circuit. We measure the amount of electrons moving to the source in amps.

We now come to the final element: resistance. Just as water pressure becomes higher when it flows through a smaller pipe, electrons press closer when they move through a circuit with high resistance. This compression intensifies the energy of the electrons. The build-up from resistance is what creates most of the electrical power you use when you switch on a light, a computer, or an electric oven.

This only scratches the surface of hundreds of years of study into one of the basic properties of life. If you encounter trouble with electricity in your home, and you need voltage to start moving the electrons again, so resistance can crowd the amps together and give you enough power, call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. We can help with professional electrical service in Lynnwood, WA.

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Are You Ready to Go Ductless this Heating Season?

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

In towns like Shoreline, heating options aren’t limited to the traditional central furnace, which relies on ducts to carry air throughout your home. Not every home has ducts, and even those that do may want to consider an alternate options for heating. If you’re considering a new heating system for your home, it pays to consider some alternate options to the standard central heating system. Are you ready to go ductless this heating season? There are a lot of good reasons why.

Ducts can do the job, but in point of fact, they’re not as efficient as other forms of heating. They rely almost entirely on hot air blown through your house, which can create drafts and cold spots as well as trouble for those ducts that don’t travel through insulated parts of your home. Furthermore, you don’t normally have options as to which parts of your house get heated. It’s all the same temperature regardless of individual tastes or the fact that you only need to heat the one room you’re using.

A ductless system, on the other hand, usually uses energy much more efficiently than a traditional system. They often use radiant heating or similar methods to warm the air, which doesn’t create a draft and doesn’t need as much energy to leave you feeling toasty and comfortable. Ductless mini split systems and the like usually have zone controls, letting you keep one area of the home warm while leaving the others unheated (saving you money on your monthly bills in the process). Geothermal systems don’t generate much pollution, while ductless heat pumps combine the function of a heater and an air conditioner into one. Besides saving you money in monthly bills, they offer you greater control over how and when you heat your home.

In Shoreline, heating services are offered by the experts at G & S Heating, Cooling & Electrical Inc. We can discuss your ductless heating options with you, then install a new system with courtesy and professionalism. Are you ready to go ductless this heating season? Then call us today to make an appointment.

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Why Professional Heating Installation Is Important in Lynnwood

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

If you’re considering getting a new heater installation for the coming winter, now is the time to call for professional assistance. The heating installation process begins before a single tool comes out. Our Lynnwood heating installation specialists can give you invaluable aid in picking the right heater type for your home, as well as perform a heat load calculation to determine the correct size that will keep you warm without overworking.

However, the actual installation is where you need professionals the most. G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. has installed heating systems in Lynnwood, WA for thirty-six years, and we can tell you from our experience exactly why this isn’t a job left to amateurs.

Consider trying to install a geothermal heat pump on your own: would you even know where to start? Geothermal systems need to have coils buried in the ground where they can extract the earth’s heat, but only certain spots are suitable for this task. How deep should the coils be buried? How do they connect to the house? Is just a shovel good enough for getting them into the ground?

It does sound overwhelming, even for the most extreme DIY hobbyist, doesn’t it? You’ll need professional installation to get the job done right. This applies to heaters that seem less complex than a geothermal heat pump, like an electric furnace. Today’s effective and efficient heaters are complex devices, and it takes years of training and experience to know how to repair and maintain them—let alone install them. Professionals not only know how to get the installation done, but they have access to specialized tools that will speed up the process and make it go smoothly.

A proper installation will mean fewer repair problems in the future. You may think that doing the job yourself or finding a friend or relative to take it on will save you money, but improper installation can cause years of headaches from expensive repairs.

There’s also the issue of safety to worry about. A shoddy installation job can leave you with a heater that will lower the quality of your indoor air. Even worse, if it is not properly hooked up to a power system or has bad wiring, the heater will turn into a fire hazard.

Make sure you start off life with your new heater the best way: with highly-trained technicians helping you through each step of the installation. In Lynnwood, WA, heating installation experts like those at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. can make sure the job gets done right the first time, leaving you with fewer worries for years to come.

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Common Heating Air Handler Problems

Friday, October 4th, 2013

If you use a heat pump, either with ducts or installed as a ductless mini split or geothermal heat pump, then you have an air handler working for you. The air handler is the unit inside your home that circulates the heated air throughout your house. The heat brought from outside (or up from the ground) gets blown about by a fan. If you have a ductless mini split, then you will most likely have more than one air handler positioned throughout your home.

An air handler can suffer damages and wear just like any machine. As you start to use your heater more often during the colder months, the air handler can develop operating problems that will need attention before they trigger other faults and even a full breakdown. Don’t get left without heat this season… contact experts to resolve air handler problems as soon as they start. G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. has served Woodinville, WA heating repair needs for 36 years, so make us your first call!

Some air handler problems we often see:

Motor trouble: A motor runs the fan inside the air handler. Motors that are forced to work too hard without proper care can overheat and stop working. Damage can also loosen parts, which will usually be accompanied by a rattling noise. If an excess amount of dust gets inside the air handler, it can also interfere with the motor’s operation. You’ll need to have a professional attend to fixing or replacing the motor.

Damaged fans: Another problem that excess contamination in the air handler can create is bent and warped fan blades. This can turn into a serious issue if the fan blades begin striking other components, such as the sides of the cabinet or the motor fan belt.

Clogged air filters: To protect the internal mechanisms of a heat pump, an air filter catches debris. If an air filter becomes too clogged, not only could it trigger the troubles listed above, but it will also begin reducing the air flow. This will force your heater to work harder and wear down faster. (It will also probably cause a spike in your energy bills.) You should change the filter once a month during the heating season, but if the clog becomes too heavy, get a repair person in to handle the issue.

Most air handler troubles require expert diagnosis and repair. Don’t try to open the air handler cabinet and fiddle around with the interior mechanisms; this can lead to further damage. Call up G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. for heating repair services in Woodinville —we’ll handle your air handler!

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