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

Why Hire Professional Electrical Repair?

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

The electrical system of a home is the system that receives the most use and which you depend on more than any other during the average day. Although your plumbing and HVAC systems are also important for daily life, nothing impairs your lifestyle more than a faulty electrical system.

Many homeowners, in their haste to have electrical troubles fixed, will attempt to handle the repairs on their own. Some may try to tackle the job to save money, or because of an interest in “do-it-yourself” hobbies. We understand all three of these motives, but for a number of very important reasons you should not attempt the work yourself. Nor should you hire amateur electricians to do it either.

For your electrical repair jobs, you need professionals. For electricians with many years of professional experience, call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc.

The 3 Best Reasons To Hire Professionals for Electrical Repairs in Shoreline, WA

  1. Safety: This is the main reason you should only allow trained professionals to perform repairs. In fact, we could stop right here and not list the other reasons because your safety and the safety of your home trumps everything else. The chance of high-voltage shock from working on repairs, even repairs that seem minor, makes this a task only for technicians with extensive training and the right tools.
  2. Local codes: The electrical system of home must remain within local codes. Professional electricians are familiar with all local codes pertaining to electrical power and will make sure your home remains within those codes and regulations.
  3. Save money: Contrary to what you may think, doing electrical work yourself or hiring low-cost amateurs does not save you money. A large number of calls that professional electricians answer are to fix problems that amateur work has caused. If you go with non-professional repairs, you will eventually need to call the professionals anyway, and you’ll end up spending 3–4 times more on repairs than if you simply called the qualified electricians in the first place. Hiring an insured electrician will also protect you from liability should accidents occur.

Although saving money and staying within local regulations are important, safety is the paramount issue: don’t risk your family’s health with an electrical fire or injury to yourself from a high-voltage shock. Call a licensed, insured, and experienced professional electrician for electrical repair service in Shoreline, WA.

G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. has a skilled electrical repair team ready to see to your needs. Call us for anything from flickering lights to dead outlets to broken circuit breaker panels.

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Tips for Installing a New Electrical System

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Although there are various reasons why you may need new electrical installation in a home, the two most common are to renovate aging and outdated systems (usually for older houses) or for new home construction. The installation can range from smaller jobs like updating a fuse box or circuit breaker panel and changing to GFCI outlets, to whole-house re-wiring.

Whatever the size of electrical installation in Everett, WA you need for your current or future home, you’ll find the qualified electricians to get the job done right the first time at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. We’ve done every kind of wiring job imaginable since 1977.

Here are some tips for new electrical system installation:

Tip #1: Hire a professional installer

This is the key step for a successful new installation. Unless you are a trained electrician with the right equipment, it’s extremely risky to attempt large scale electrical work on your own. Aside from the dangers that come with working with electrical systems, DIY or amateur work is rarely done accurately, resulting in a system that works inadequately and will soon need repairs. Poor electrical installation can also create a future fire hazard: many electrical emergencies that professionals respond to arise from amateur work that has caused charred outlets and other fire dangers. Start right with installation: call an experienced electrical contractor.

Tip #2: Update the circuit breaker panel

A new electrical system will increase the amperage in your home, and because of this you should consider an upgrade for your older circuit breaker panel. (If you have a fuse box, then you should definitely upgrade to a circuit breaker panel.) The new electrical system will be able to handle far more power—that’s one of the reasons to have new installation—but make sure you take into consideration some of the consequences of this increased amperage.

Tip #3: Switch to LED lights

During an electrical installation, you can make other upgrades as well. One of the best changes you can make is to replace older light fixtures with LED (light emitting diodes) lights, which draw significantly less power than standard incandescent lights and last far longer. This will translate into immense savings which could eventually pay for your entire electrical installation!

Tip #4: Maintain good communication with your electrician

If you hire a skilled electrician for the installation, make sure to ask him or her about other upgrades and particular conditions in your neighborhood that might affect the new system. The electrician will have many suggestions to help you have the best installation possible.

For more than 37 years, the team at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. has delivered high quality electrical work ranging from small repairs to whole-house rewiring. Make us your choice for your electrical installation in Everett, WA.

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3 Benefits of Ductless Heating Systems

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Ductless heating systems have existed for many years, but they entered the residential scene only during the last decade, making the transition from commercial use. They have become popular with new home construction and add-on rooms, and more and more homeowners have started to opt for these systems that use forced-air but bypass the need for a network of ventilation ducts.

G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. installs many types of heating systems, including ductless mini split heat pumps. Call today to speak to our specialists in ductless heating in Lynwood, WA, and they will help you determine if ductless heating and cooling will work for your household’s needs.

3 advantages of ductless heating

Ductless mini split heat pumps operate similar to standard heat pumps, except instead of using a single indoor unit hooked to a network of ducts, a ductless system has multiple blowers installed throughout the house, each hooked to the outdoor unit through a refrigerant line. Some of the advantages of this set-up include:

  1. Heating and cooling: Because ductless systems are a type of heat pump, they share the major advantage that all heat pumps have: the ability to work as both air conditioners and heaters. Going ductless doesn’t change this at all. When we talk about ductless “heating” in this post, keep in mind that you receive ductless cooling along with it.
  2. Improved air quality: Forced-air heaters that use ducts often cause a reduction in indoor air quality because of the dust, dirt, and other contaminants that gather inside the ventilation system. This ends up blown out into the house, and the only way to prevent it is through installing special filters and scheduling regular professional duct cleaning. But ductless systems, for obvious reasons, do not have trouble with dirty ductwork. You’ll have healthier air, which is especially good news if people with allergies live in your home.
  3. Zone control heating: Using individual blowers throughout a home means that you can control the temperature in rooms independent of one another. Instead of warming the whole house every time you switch on the heater, as with a central heating system, a ductless system gives you the choice of which rooms to heat. You can shut down heat in rooms no one is using, and this will save money on your bills. People in the house can also control the temperature to fit their individual needs wherever they are by adjusting the local blower unit.

Ductless mini split heat pumps are best suited for new construction, add-on rooms, and any building without pre-existing ducts. If you already have ductwork in your house, a ductless mini split may not be ideal. Consult with a Lynwood, WA ductless heating installer to find out what options you have and if going ductless will benefit you.

G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. is here to help you with your heating and cooling. Call our skilled technicians for the service you need.

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Heating Repair Issues to Address This Spring

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

The mercurial weather in Washington State means that sometimes the sunny summer days vanish into clouds and storms. We need air conditioners to help us through most of the middle of the year, but we cannot neglect our heaters during this season. This spring, take some time (when not prepping your AC) to address any issues in your heating system so it’s ready for “that rainy day.”

For help with your heater, whether it’s maintenance or heating repairs in Everett, WA, look to the company that has served the Puget Sound Area since 1977 with quality comfort: G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc.

Some specific heating issues to deal with this spring

  • Late maintenance: Later is still much better than “never” when it comes to routine maintenance on your heating system. If you neglected to schedule your annual maintenance session in the fall, make sure to have it during spring. Waiting until the fall for maintenance is simply too long, and it puts your heater’s operation at great risk for failure at a time when you may need it the most.
  • Duct cleaning: If you have a forced-air heating system like a furnace or a standard central heat pump, then you have ductwork. That ductwork can accumulate a large amount of contamination and debris during a season of work, and it may need to have a thorough professional cleaning to make sure it maintains your indoor air quality and doesn’t reduce the efficiency of the HVAC system. (Remember, the air conditioner will use those same ducts.)
  • Lingering repair needs: If your heater showed signs of malfunctions or wonky behavior at the end of winter, you definitely want these troubles solved as soon as you can. The longer any fault goes without repairs, the more likely it is to worsen and affect other systems… all of which can trigger a break down. A technician will identify any hidden issues during maintenance; have these fixed as well.
  • New installation: Finally, if you current heater seemed like it was failing during the winter, struggling and costing more to run, then you should consider taking advantage of the spring to install a replacement system. You’ll have plenty of time to choose a new model and arrange for the installation without too much worry of getting caught in the cold.

G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. can help you with the heating repair service in Everett, WA that will keep your heater in good shape. We offer an excellent pre-paid maintenance plan that includes priority service and a 10% discount on parts and labor. We also have a team that handles quality duct cleaning. And, if it’s time for a new heater in your home, we install many different types; we’ll help you find the one that will serve your needs.

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Signs Your Entertainment System Needs Rewiring

Monday, April 21st, 2014

The secret of creating a great home entertainment system is designing a layout that fits into your home while keeping hidden as much of the understructure (i.e. the wiring) as possible. To achieve this, some homeowners hire professional electricians to send wires through the walls and ceiling. But people often take on the work as a do-it-yourself hobby. Although this is a much better DIY project than, say, attempting to install a furnace or an air conditioning system on your own (you should never try either), it can sometimes lead to wiring issues that are difficult to diagnose and fix. When problems crop up, it’s best to call in an electrician with knowledge of home entertainment systems to assist you.

For the electrical repair in Everett, WA that will make your entertainment system work the best it can, contact G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. today.

Signs of wiring trouble in your entertainment system

  • Speakers are out of phase: This is a common problem that happens when left and right audio speakers, whether front, back, or side, have their polarity reversed due to improper wiring. Stereo speakers that are “in phase” will create sound that seems to emanate naturally from a spot between the two speakers (when you are facing them). If “out of phase,” the signal will seem messy and distorted, not seeming to come from any place in particular. This will make for distracting listening. Tracking down the source can be difficult, considering the amount of wires and where they might be incorrectly connected.
  • Sound goes in and out: When speakers lose their sound, only to come back on again minutes to hours later, it’s probably because of inferior speaker wire. If you wired the system yourself and bought low-cost wiring to save money, the quality of the wires is the likely culprit for sound loss. In this case, you can save yourself time and headaches with the help of an electrician who will re-wire the system using professional quality wires.
  • The system trips circuit breakers: The amount of power needed for monitors, Blu-ray and DVD players, receivers, streaming devices, video game consoles, and other components of an entertainment system is minimal compared to the power needed for larger appliances like a refrigerator or washing machine. But bad wiring can cause shorts, and if turning on your entertainment system causes a circuit breaker to trip, you need to have professionals look into a serious wiring malfunction.

There is always a possibility of electrical fires from bad wiring; although this isn’t often an issue with an entertainment system, don’t take changes when it comes to an issue like power overloads. Whether you are having audio issues or electrical shorts, call for electrical repair in Everett, WA. You can find some of the best electricians in the area at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc., and they’re more than happy to help you get the most from your home entertainment system.

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How Heat Pumps Operate

Friday, April 18th, 2014

The marvel of the heat pump is that it works as both an air conditioner and a heater—using the same operation! A heat pump isn’t two different systems packaged together, but a single unit that can change the direction it moves heat so that it can either draw heat from inside a home (air conditioning) or draw heat into a home (heating).

Since many people find the idea of heat pumps a bit confusing, we will provide a basic breakdown of how these comfort systems work. For more information on heat pumps in Shoreline, WA, whether it’s installation, repairs, maintenance, or just questions, contact G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. You can trust our expertise: we’ve worked with heat pumps since 1977.

Heat pump 101

It’s easiest to consider a heat pump first as a standard air conditioner—because, with one important change, that’s essentially what it is.

Refrigerant, a chemical blend that changes easily from liquid to gas and back, starts inside a compressor. Electrical power sent to this device compresses the liquid refrigerant to change it into a hot, high temperature gas. It then moves into a component called the reversing valve, which sends the refrigerant in one of two directions: either to the indoor coil, or to the outdoor coil. The reversing valve is the part that makes a heat pump different from a standard air conditioner, where the refrigerant can only go one direction.

If the refrigerant moves to the outdoor coil first, it releases its heat through condensation to the outside and cools down, changing back to a liquid. The refrigerant then travels to the indoor coil, where it absorbs heat from the indoors through evaporation. By removing heat, it cools down the inside—this is cooling mode. The now liquid refrigerant then moves back to the compressor to start the process again.

However, if the reversing valve sends the refrigerant to the indoor coil first, the movement of heat switches around. Now the refrigerant releases heat to the inside—heating mode—and then moves to the outdoor coil to absorb heating for the outside before returning to the compressor.

Heat pumps are complex machines

Although heat pump operation doesn’t sound too difficult once it’s explained (basically, it’s an AC that can run backwards as well), the machine itself is a precision instrument that requires specialized training to repair and maintain it. Whenever you encounter trouble with a heat pump, make sure you call for expert repairs.

If you don’t have a heat pump already, and you are interested in looking into installing one, call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. today. We have excellent services for heat pumps in Shoreline, WA coupled with over three and a half decades of experience.

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Why Is My Heating System Rusty?

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Rust is one of the great enemies of civilization: it has devastated some of the finest architectural achievements of the ancient world. Fortunately, most of the appliances in your home have better defenses against rust than were available to the Roman Empire, and with proper care and repairs, you can usually avoid problems with rust.

But what if you spot rust forming on your heating system? Does this automatically mean it has gone bad and requires replacement? Not necessarily, and it can depend on the system you have. We’ll look at some of the reasons for rust to start on heating systems in Everett, WA.

To make sure you get excellent repairs (or a replacement, if necessary) call on a heating company with more than three decades of experience: G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc.

Rust on furnaces

Although furnaces do not use water in their operation, they can still suffer from rust because of the reaction between metal and the exhaust vapor from combustion. With proper venting of the exhaust vapor out of the furnace, corrosion shouldn’t occur on a furnace until it is extremely aged (20 years or older), and in this case you should definitely have it replaced. If rust appears earlier, you should have repairs done quickly to prevent cracking in the heat exchangers (a potentially hazardous situation) and to fix the venting issues.

Furnaces can also rust because of moisture that enters through the ventilation system: this can become a problem in a state like Washington because of our heavy amount of rainfall. Make sure the air filter in your furnace doesn’t develop moisture across it and keep it changed regularly.

One other possible reason for furnace rust is because of water dripping from an air conditioner. AC units are often mounted over the furnace in a home’s HVAC system, and condensation from the AC that overflows the condensate pan will promote rust on the furnace’s metal. You’ll need repairs on both the furnace and the air conditioner.

Rust on heat pumps

Heat pumps can suffer from rust due to the condensation of moisture along the indoor and outdoor coils. The moisture should drip down into a condensate pan and drain away. Excess moisture over the years can cause rusting across components: it’s worst to have corrosion along the coils, because this will lead to leaking refrigerant and a loss of heating and cooling power. The moment you notice rust on coils, call for repairs right away to clean the coils, check for leaks, and recharge refrigerant to its proper levels.

Don’t tolerate rust!

Rust is bad news, no matter when it appears on a heater. To find out what needs to be done, contact a specialist with heating systems in Everett, WA to look into the problem, offer advice, and provide solutions.

G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. has the trained and experienced team who can help you restore your home’s heating, no matter the trouble.

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Replacing a Rusty Water Heater

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

In 280 B.C.E., the people of the island city of Rhodes constructed a 100-foot tall statue of iron and bronze at the entrance to their harbor to celebrate a victory over their enemy, the King of Cyprus. Although a monumental feat of engineering, the Colossus of Rhodes survived for a mere 56 years. The official cause of its destruction was an earthquake. But rust must have contributed to its downfall. If the people of Rhodes had kept up with yearly preventive maintenance from a trusted and licensed technician, perhaps we would still have the Colossus of Rhodes to admire today.

Is it fair to compare your home’s water heater to the Colossus of Rhodes? No, because your water heater is still here and the Colossus is not. However, even if you’ve given your water heater the finest maintenance, it will eventually reach a point of deterioration where it will need replacement. The best warning sign of this: rust.

For help replacing your rusted water heater with a new system, contact G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. We have more then thirty years of experience with water heaters in Lynnwood, WA.

Rust and your water heater

The average lifespan of a residential water heater is approximately 15 years, which most should reach with annual inspections and tune-ups. Maintenance technicians will make sure the anode rod that protects the water tank from corrosion is replaced whenever needed.

When your heater starts to approach the 15 year mark, pay attention to possible signs that rust has taken hold inside the tank. This will usually happen because of years of exposure to sediment and chemicals that have entered the tank. The biggest warning sign that rust has started is discolored water coming from the hot water taps. Call in a technician right away to look over the system and see if it needs replacement.

Leaks occurring around the water heater are also signs that rust is afflicting the system, corroding away connectors and causing leaking. A single leak may not mean the system is beyond repair, but multiple ones indicate the damage has spread far enough that a new installation is the best solution.

The replacement water heater

Here’s the good news: when you replace a rusted water heater, you have an array of excellent options for a new one. You can install another storage water heater, or you could invest in a tankless system that will prevent you from running out of hot water and also help you save energy. Or you could consider a solar water heater, which is often the first step people take when they want to convert their house over to solar energy. Talk to your local water heater expert about the best choices for your home.

G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. can offer you superb service for your water heaters in Lynnwood, WA: both the outgoing and the incoming one. We were too late for the Colossus of Rhodes by a few millennia, but we’re ready to help your water heater.

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Why Consider Ductless Heating Systems

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Ductless heating and cooling systems (a.k.a. ductless mini split heat pumps) are not a “new” invention, but it’s only during the last decade that they have started to make an impact in homes. Previously, ductless mini splits were mostly used commercially, and were popular for restaurants. Now, the advantages of ductless heating are easily available to anyone. We’ll look at some of these benefits in this post. If you want additional information about installing ductless heating systems in Mill Creek, WA, give us a call at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. Our installers can help you find out if a ductless mini split heat pump is right for your home.

The advantages of going ductless

  • No problems due to dirty or broken ducts: The ductwork necessary for most heating and cooling systems can create numerous issues. The ducts need to be kept clean to preserve indoor air quality and to reduce resistance against airflow. Gaps and breaks along the ducts require repairs to prevent them from lowering the air pressure. You won’t have these additional worries with a ductless system.
  • Zone control: Ductless mini split heat pumps work through individual blower units mounted on the walls of rooms. Each blower hooks up to the single outdoor unit. This means that you can shut off the blowers in rooms that do not require heating, and this will save you money on your energy bills. It also gives people in your home the freedom to adjust the temperature to their liking wherever they are. Heating your home is no longer an “all or nothing” proposition with a ductless mini split heat pump.
  • Construction freedom: If you are planning to build a new house, or you wish to add on a new room to your current house, ductless mini splits offer you larger design freedom and additional space. You no longer have to factor in space for the ductwork in walls and ceilings. For add-on rooms, a ductless mini split frees you from the necessity of hooking up the new space to the existing ventilation network.
  • Heating and cooling: Since ductless systems are basically heat pumps with multiple indoor units instead of a single indoor unit, they retain the main advantage of heat pumps: heating and cooling power in one system.

Will ductless work for you?

In general, homeowners install ductless systems as part of new construction, or if their home never had ductwork in the first place. A house with ducts can still benefit from a ductless mini split heat pump in some places; call up installers to ask about the possibilities.

G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. encourages you to consider a ductless system for your next heating or cooling installation. Trust to our expertise and guidance when it comes to ductless heating systems in Mill Creek, WA.

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Certifications Required by Electricians

Monday, April 7th, 2014

When you’re looking for an electrician to handle a project in your home, whether it’s a repair job for faulty wires and outlets, or an extensive installation for a whole-house surge protector or generator, you want to make sure that you only hire an electrician with the best training and education. Fortunately, in Washington State, there’s a simple way to find out if an electrician has the right qualifications: state licensing.

G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. has been in business for 37 years. That’s experience you can trust. But we’re also fully licensed as electricians for Shoreline, WA, and we’ll explain exactly what that means and why it’s important.

Electricians in Washington State

State law requires that all electricians who work in Washington have a proper certification from the Department of Labor & Industries. This department administers the electrical certification laws in the state and handles the testing. There are different exams for different electrical specialties, and an electrician must pass the exam related to the work he or she will do.

In order the pass the test, an electrician must understand the National Electric Code, Washington laws, and electrical theory knowledge. It is recommended that anyone who wants to pass the test undergo extensive classroom education, since in-the-field training is rarely sufficient to answer the detailed questions on the test: any electrician in Washington needs to have extensive knowledge that covers the “whys” of the work instead of only the “hows.” This helps ensure electricians who do not simply follow rote instructions for repairs.

Anyone who earns a certification as an electrician, master electrician, or electrical administrator must also take continuing education courses in order to renew the certification. This is done so that all electricians licensed with the state stay current with the rapidly advancing field of electrical theory and engineering.

Check on your electrician’s license

An electrician must show proof of current, up to date licensing on demand from a customer or potential customer. Make certain that do not accept work from any amateur, unlicensed electrician—the risk of damage and inferior repairs is too great.

G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. is a fully licensed company that only hire certified electricians in the state of Washington. For Shoreline, WA electricians you can depend on, call us.

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