G & S Heating Cooling & Electric Blog: Archive for January, 2014

3 Ways Ductless Heating Beats Gas Furnaces

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

You may have heard about “ductless heating” as an option for home comfort, but weren’t quite sure what it was or how it works. Basically, a ductless mini split system is a heat pump that uses individual blower units to distribute conditioned air throughout your home instead of a single indoor unit that sends air through ducts. These blower units are mounted on walls in different rooms of a house and connect to the outdoor unit through refrigerant lines.

If you are currently considering new heating installation, you should definitely put ductless mini splits high on the list, and call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. for advice and installation.

Here are three ways that ductless heating in Everett, WA is superior to the standard gas furnace:

1. Heating and cooling

Because ductless mini splits are heat pumps, you get the heat pump advantage of also having air conditioning when you need it. A ductless mini split takes care of your two home comfort needs at the same time.

2. Energy savings

The U.S. government sponsored a study to see how much an average family of four could save on their heating bills if they switched from a furnace to a heat pump. The results showed savings of as much as 30%. The reason that heat pumps are more energy-efficient than gas furnaces is that they only draw electrical power to run their mechanisms to move heat. A furnace, however, must burn fuel to create heat—and that requires significantly more power to do.

3. No problems from broken or dirty ducts

Without ductwork to distribute heated (or cooled) air, a ductless mini split will not suffer trouble because of leaking ducts, nor will polluted ducts reduce the indoor air quality. You’ll also save space without the need for ducts, and if you are building a new home, the lack of ducts will free up your design possibilities.

We need to point out that although heat pumps do have these advantages over a gas furnace (and a few others), gas furnaces have their own advantages, like more powerful heating and longer lifespans. Your home may not be right for ductless, so you should have professional installers look over your home and help you decide if you want to go for ductless heating in Everett, WA. Look to G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. for your installation needs; we’ll make sure you get the right heating system.

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Why Get a Whole-House Generator

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Last month, extreme cold temperatures and ice storms struck areas of the U.S. and resulted in power losses in places that lasted as long as five days, forcing many residents to go through difficult and expensive temporary relocations. Although we were spared such heavy weather here in the Pacific Northwest, we are certainly not immune to storms and natural disasters such as earthquakes that can result in large and extended power outages.

The best way to prepare your home and family for an emergency power loss is to have a whole-house generator installed. Contact the Shoreline, WA electrical technicians at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. today to schedule an appointment for generator installation.

Reasons to have a whole-house generator installed

  • Portable generators are insufficient – A small portable generator is a good idea to store in the car or to take on a camping trip. But these systems cannot provide you with the power necessary to run the essential appliances in your home. A portable unit could run, at most, one large appliance—and not for long, either. A whole-house generator, correctly sized and installed, can handle all the essential tasks you need.
  • Comfort – A loss of power usually means a loss of your heating and cooling systems. Even gas-powered furnaces and boilers today use electrical power to ignite. Power outages are most likely to happen during periods of extreme cold weather and storms, or during intense heat when the power grid strains because of the numerous air conditioners turned on. You don’t want to get stuck in either the cold or the heat waiting for the power to be restored, and a generator will keep your HVAC system running.
  • You have people with special medical needs in your home – Here is where a generator can be a literal life-saver. If you have people living in your home who depend on electrical medical equipment, such as an oxygen pump, then you need to have a whole-house generator installed as soon as possible.
  • Peace of mind – This is, admittedly, an intangible benefit. But you can never put a price on the assurance you’ll feel with a whole-house generator ready should the power go out.

G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. has served the Puget Sound area since 1977, and we take our job of keeping you comfortable and safe in your home very seriously. We think that a whole-house generator is one of the best home additions you can have. Call our Shoreline, WA electrical experts to talk about how to find the right generator to protect you and your family from extended power outages.

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Benefits of Surge Protectors

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

You probably already have surge protectors in your home: small power strips hooked to outlets where you plug in devices like computers, televisions, and home theater system components. While these are definitely useful for protecting electronics from the damage of a massive surge, as well as preventing demands for power from tripping circuit breakers, power strips are only a part of protecting your electrical system from surges. The most important part is a whole-house surge protector.

To find out about how you can have a whole-house surge protector installed, call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. With our services, you’ll avoid many needs for electrical repair service in Everett, WA in the future.

What a whole-house surge protector will do for you

The main advantage you’ll receive from installing a whole-house surge protector is that all of your home will be covered. You probably don’t want to place power strips on every single outlet around the house; there’s rarely room for that, and for outlets that only service one appliance, like a lamp, they’re wasteful. A whole-house surge protector has all your outlets covered.

Whole-house surge protectors are capable of handling much larger spikes in power than power strips: up to 60,000 amps, three times that of a smaller unit. A smaller unit that experiences such a powerful surge will probably need to be replaced.

But the biggest benefit of a surge protector is one you won’t see at first. People tend to think of power surges as catastrophic events from lightning strikes or downed power lines. However, the majority of surges are smaller ones you won’t even notice. But your appliances will notice them, since over time the surges will cause their electrical components to deteriorate. A whole-house surge protector will shield your appliances from these numerous small surges that can happen daily. Surge protector installation will pay for itself by prolonging the life of your appliances.

Please keep in mind as you read this that we aren’t advising you abandon power strips entirely; they work excellently as an additional layer of protection for highly sensitive electronics. They simply do not provide the protection needed for devices like HVAC systems, nor do they affect smaller surges.

Call professionals for installation

Whole-house surge protectors require the work of experts to correctly and safely install. You will also need the advice of these experts to determine the right size of surge protector for your home’s electrical needs. Contact G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. today to find out more about our services for surge protector installation and electrical repair in Lynnwood, WA.

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Wiring Your Entertainment System

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Entertainment systems have come a long way since the days of televisions with single mono speakers that plugged into a wall and used antennas. Today, you can have an entire home theater experience with digital 2K projection technology, 7.1 discrete audio channels with lossless DTS-Master Audio HD sound, video game consoles, and streaming technology bringing you entertainment from more sources than anyone could have dreamed of only a decade past.

This does mean a far more complex electrical wiring network, however. The old-fashioned TV simply needed to plug into a wall, and that was it. If you want a full home theater set-up, it’s almost essentially a room renovation or new room addition as far as the electrical wiring is concerned. Nowhere else in your home will have as many appliances requiring electrical power at the same time.

For this reason, we recommend you hire the services of experts in electrical repair in Everett, WA to help you wire your entertainment system. At G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc., we specialize in electrical wiring for new homes and additions, and can we can assist you with the issues of wiring a large entertainment system so it will not only be attractive and work well, but also be safe.

One of the reasons to have professional assistance with this task is that you will want as much of the wiring as possible, such as those running to the speakers, to remain hidden within the walls. Electricians can make this task much simpler and take away the need to rip apart your walls to have the wires installed.

Electricians can also help you protect your home from electrical power surges that an entertainment system can cause; we advise our customers to look into whole-house surge protectors as part of a large-scale entertainment add-on: the basic power strips are not sufficient on their own to protect from the problems of major power surges.

Electricians can also help you upgrade outlets and your circuit breaker panel to accommodate the higher electrical demands. If you have older two-prong outlets, you definitely need those replaced with grounded outlets.

The more complicated and extensive your new set-up, the more you need professionals to help you with the wiring. Trust to G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. and our experts in electrical repair in Everett, WA to help you get the safest and most trouble-free wiring for your entertainment system.

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Signs of Electrical Repair Issues

Friday, January 24th, 2014

It’s hard to imagine life without electricity. Those rare times when the power goes out entirely serve as reminders of how much we depend on our electrical systems to get us through the day (and night). You need to take special care of the electricity in your home with prompt repairs whenever they are needed.

Although some electrical repair issues are immediately obvious, such as sparking or power outages, others require more attention, and at first might not seem important. Here are three warning signs to watch for that indicate it’s time for electrical repair service in Everett, WA. Call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. when you need electrical service done right.

Watch for these 3 warning signs of repair needs

  1. Power surges: People usually associate power surges with disasters, such as downed power lines in high winds or lightning strikes. But power surges occur much more often because of electrical troubles in a home: if an appliance starts to drain greater power than normal, it will cause a surge through the system. It may not take out the power, but you might notice a sudden dimming of the lights. These small surges can damage many electrical systems over time, and local power strips don’t do anything to help. Call an electrician to find out what is causing the surges and how to prevent them.
  2. Intermittent switches and outlets: If you start losing power to outlets or switches, only to have them later restored, you may have wiring issues or a plug loose in a receptacle. An electrician will need to inspect your wiring to find where it has come loose.
  3. Circuit breakers trip continually: If you only have an occasional tripped circuit breaker, it’s usually nothing serious to worry about and you’ll probably know the source right away (such as plugging in an appliance that is too powerful). But if the breakers are tripping on a regular basis, and you can’t determine why, then the problem could be faulty wiring in the house, or a faulty fuse box. Have an electrician examine your circuit breakers and wiring to see what the best solution is.

Working with electricity is potentially very hazardous. The amount of voltage modern homes need to run appliances can cause severe injury to someone who attempts inexperienced repairs. Don’t take that risk: call up skilled electricians to handle all your needs for electrical repair in Everett, WA. G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. offers a wide range of electrical services that can take care of the issues in your house, from circuit breakers to smoke detectors.

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When to Think About Air Conditioning Maintenance

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

It’s January now, usually the coldest month of the year around Puget Sound. However, the time will go by fast, and before you know it, April will arrive and the summer will peek over the horizon.

So when is the best time to start thinking about air conditioning maintenance? Soon… if not now. We’ll explain a bit more in this post. When you’re ready for your air conditioning maintenance, or if you still have Shoreline, WA heating system installation that needs to get done, call on G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. We have more than three decades of experience that we bring to every job we do.

Get a head start on maintenance

We can tell you for certain one time you don’t want to think about air conditioning maintenance: the summer. By the time the warm weather arrives, you should have your AC already tuned-up and thoroughly checked so you can avoid unnecessary repairs and even a costly breakdown on the hottest day of the year.

The best time to have maintenance on your air conditioner is during the spring. As the cold weather leaves but the hot weather has not had time to settle in, you’ll find yourself in a stretch where you won’t need to use your heater or air conditioner frequently. HVAC technicians have less busy schedules during the spring, so take advantage of this to find an appointment for maintenance that’s ideal for you. You’ll also have plenty of time to get repairs done before the heat arrives for any malfunctions the technician discovers during maintenance.

But it’s fine to consider a mid- or late-winter maintenance session for your AC. Spring can sometimes bring hot weather surprises, and if your air conditioner is an older model, you may want to be more cautious when it comes to maintenance.

Maintenance benefits you in many ways

Maintenance for your air conditioner will not only prepare it for the job it will do throughout the summer, it also gives the system a longer lifespan and reduces the strain that can lead to higher energy bills. Maintenance is an investment that pays off.

To start with your maintenance to prepare for warmer weather, contact G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. Our maintenance program (which includes your heater as well) also gives you a 10% discount on all parts and repairs, and you receive priority service. For maintenance, AC installation, and heating installation in Shoreline, WA, put your trust in us.

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Advantages of Ductless Mini Split Systems

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Ductless mini splits have started to expand in popularity in homes. With all the advantages they offer, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. We’ll go over some of the major benefits that a ductless heating system can provide.

For people unfamiliar with ductless mini splits, they work the same as heat pumps, except instead of a single indoor evaporating/condensing unit attached to a network of ducts, they have multiple blower units mounted on walls that send conditioned air directly into a home. If you want to know more about their operation, talk to our Lynnwood, WA HVAC specialists at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. today.

The major benefits of ductless heating systems in Lynnwood, WA

  • No more ductwork troubles to worry about – Ducts can create numerous issues for a heating system when they develop breaks or collect layers of dust, dirt, and other pollutants. You need to schedule regular duct cleaning to avoid the problem with dirt build-up, and duct sealing and duct repair are necessary whenever leaks occur. But without ducts… no duct problems! Voila, one repair and maintenance issue resolved immediately.
  • Individual comfort control – “It’s way too hot in here.” “It’s far too cold in here.” If you hear complaints like this often from the people who live in your home, or from guests, then a ductless system lets you put the comfort control in the hands of individuals. People can adjust the local blower unit to their liking, and there’s no need to change the temperature for the whole house. Comfort for all, discomfort for none.
  • Energy savings – Because ductless mini splits use zone control, you no longer need to heat up rooms that are not being used, such as a guest bedroom.
  • A solution for add-on rooms – If you are adding a room to your house, installing a mini split for that room solves one of the major hassles of room addition: building new ductwork to link it to the rest of the house.

Look into ductless heating today

Ductless mini splits are ideal for homes without pre-existing ductwork, or for people who are planning to build a new home. The elimination of ducts from planning allows for immense space saving.

But what if you already have ducts in your home? Then it’s best to consult with professionals in HVAC installation and ductless heating systems in Lynwood, WA to find out about your options. Ductless may offer you opportunities… or perhaps another heating system will serve you best. Contact G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc., where we’ve served the Puget Sound Area since 1977 with top-quality heating installations.

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What are Geothermal Heat Pumps?

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Among your heating options today, one of the most exciting is the geothermal heat pump. The technology for geothermal systems has existed for many years, but only during the last decade have they started to become popular choices for home comfort. At G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc., we are proud to offer installation of state-of-the-art geothermal heat pumps to provide our customers with safe, economical, and effective heating in Woodinville, WA.

Although most people have a general idea what geothermal energy is, most aren’t certain exactly what a geothermal heat pump does or how it does it. We’ll provide a brief explanation, which will help you understand the benefits you can receive from a geothermal system installation.

Geothermal heat pumps

First, the heat pump part: heat pumps are essentially air conditioners that can switch the direction in which they move heat. Using the circulation of refrigerant, heat pumps remove heat from one place and deposit it in another, leading to the cooling of the first location and the warming of the second. Depending on which mode you set a heat pump, it will act either as an air conditioner or a heater.

Standard heat pumps use air as their exchange medium: they absorb heat from the air and then release it to the air. These are known as air-source heat pumps. But geothermal heat pumps are ground source: they use the warmth of the earth itself to extract and deposit heat.

A geothermal heat pump still uses air as a source inside your home. But the refrigerant coils go down into the ground, usually 6-10 ft. under the surface, where the temperature remains at a steady temperature of around 55°F. During hot weather, the indoor unit of the heat pump absorbs heat from the air and the refrigerant in the coils takes it into the ground. During cold weather, the refrigerant brings up heat from the earth, and it is released into the air indoors.

One of the major advantages of a geothermal system is the steady source of heat: air-source heat pumps can suffer drops in efficiency during extreme cold because they have trouble extracting heat from the chilly air. But geothermal systems always have a stable temperature underground.

Geothermal systems use very little energy compared to other systems, and the savings they offer mean they will usually pay for themselves within 5 to 10 years—and they will last much longer than that.

You need to know up front that one of the disadvantages of geothermal heat pumps is they are not suited for every property. If you are interested in having installation of a geothermal system for your heating system in Woodinville, WA, please contact professional installers before you make your choice. Our geothermal experts at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. can determine if a ground-source heat pump will work for you, and can suggest excellent alternatives as well.

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When to Think About Replacing Your Furnace

Friday, January 10th, 2014

In Lynnwood, WA, heating systems are the best line of defense against the chills of our rainy weather. There’s nothing nicer that coming home in the middle of a cold, wet day to find a warm cozy household waiting for you. Your furnace is one of the most important components to your house, and because you need it so often, it can be hard to part with it when the time comes to install a new one. Even the most well-maintained piece of equipment will eventually need replacement, however. Here’s a few signs to let you know when to think about replacing your furnace.

  • Costs are rising. This can refer to more frequent repairs, suggesting that your furnace is wearing out to the point where maintaining it is no longer cost effective. But it also means higher monthly energy bills, reflecting an overall wear and tear that robs your furnace of efficiency. If you’re engaging in more repairs than you’d like, or your monthly energy bills are skyrocketing despite the that that you’re not using the heater any more than normal, you might want to think about a new one.
  • A major breakdown. Similarly, if your heater suffers a major breakdown requiring repairs – or if you’re considering a serious upgrade to your system that will cost a great deal – it might be easier to simply replace the unit rather than go through half-measures. Replacement not only makes a “clean break” but it could ultimate save you money depending on how expensive the repairs are.
  • The furnace is old. In and of itself, age shouldn’t be a big consideration when thinking about replacing your furnace. Well-maintained units can sometimes last for years after their stated lifetime. However, when coupled with other problems such as frequent repairs, an old furnace can quickly become a liability. If it’s more than ten years old and suffering from problems, it may be time to install a new one.

Here in Lynnwood, WA, heating installation can be performed by the experts at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. If you know when to think about replacing your furnace, you also know that you want professionals to do the job. Our Lynnwood, WA heating specialists stand by our work and are dedicated to your complete satisfaction, so give us a call today!

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