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

Check the SEER Rating Before Beginning Air Conditioning Installation

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

With all the technical stats available for an air conditioning system, it may seem impossible for anyone but a trained professional HVAC installer to understand what a new AC is capable of doing. Although you should always rely on professionals when it comes to standard or ductless air conditioning installation in Lynnwood, WA, there are a few stats you should know about from the beginning, particularly SEER, “seasonal energy efficiency rating.” Always check the SEER on any new AC you are considering for installation, since it will give you an idea of how much you can expect to pay to run the air conditioner.

We’ll explain what SEER measures and why it’s important. Skilled installers, like those at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc., can assist with narrowing down your choices so you’ll end up with the best possible system for your home: one that will provide you with effective cooling coupled with energy savings.

What An Air Conditioner’s SEER Means

The seasonal energy efficiency rating of an AC is a measure of how efficiently the system converts electrical power into cooling power. The rating is the ratio of the amount of cooling it provides (in BTUs) to the amount of energy consumed (in watt-hours) as averaged across a season. (The EER, energy efficiency rating, measures the results of a single test.) The higher the SEER, the more energy-efficiently it will run.

In order for an air conditioning system to earn the ENERGY STAR label from the U.S. Department of Energy, it must have a SEER of 14.5 or greater. Some special high-efficiency air conditioners can score SEER of 18 or more. In general, units with higher SEER will cost more to install, so make sure that you’ll receive the maximum benefits from a system before choosing it. Just because a system has high SEER doesn’t mean that it is the best option for your home: it might be undersized or oversized, both of which will result in energy drain that can offset the savings from energy efficiency.

To make sure that you have an air conditioning installed in your home that will live up to the promise of its SEER rating, have professional installers help you pick out the unit. They will be able to tell if an air conditioner can provide you with sufficient levels of cooling to keep you comfortable so you will get the most from its efficient capability.

G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. has more than 35 years of experience with standard and ductless air conditioning installation services in Lynnwood, WA. Call us when you’re ready for superior energy efficiency and comfort from a new cooling system.

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The Importance of Hiring a Professional for Air Conditioning Repairs

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Air conditioning systems are deceptively simple to explain: They remove heat from inside a building by cycling refrigerant between the indoor and outdoor coils. A compressor serves as the “engine” for the operation, and blower fans draw air across the coils to either absorb or release heat. However, anyone who has ever opened up the cabinet of an AC and tried to make sense of its parts will know that air conditioners are extremely complex machines. As HAVC technology advances, cooling systems will continue to become more intricate.

If you have problems with your air conditioner and require repair work, you need to rely on professionals to take care of the job. Don’t open up the cabinet and try to troubleshoot the problem on your own with the help of a DIY guide from online; for a number of important reasons, this work must be left to trained technicians.

Call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. for the necessary Mill Creek, WA air conditioning repair service to restore your home comfort.

Reasons to Rely On Professionals for AC Repair

  • Protect Your Investment: Air conditioning systems are a major investment in comfort, and replacing one is an expensive alternative to precision repairs. Without the knowledge that professionals have regarding repairs, you or amateur technicians risk causing damage to an AC that may require that you have the whole system replaced. Trained technicians can take care of complicated repairs without causing any other repair issues (or worse).
  • Repair Speed: Even if you could figure out how to manage a repair on your own, it would take a prohibitively long time to perform it correctly. Repair professionals know how to take care of jobs as fast as possible so you will only lose your AC comfort for a short time before a problem is fixed.
  • Maintain Efficiency: The careful balance between the components of an AC makes it easy to cause the system to work inefficiently due to an amateur repair. A poor repair job might seem to restore the air conditioner to operating condition, but leave the system running inefficiently and draining extra power. This will mean higher energy bills that you could have avoided with professionals on the job.

Finding Professional Repair Service Is Easy

If scheduling repair work from professionals were a huge hassle, we could understand why customers might not want to bother. But finding quality work takes no more than picking up a phone and calling G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc.

We maintain a staff of experienced HVAC technicians and have served the Puget Sound Area since 1977, making us one of the top choices for air conditioning repairs in Mill Creek, WA.

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How to Decide if Ductless Air Conditioning Is Right for You

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Ductless air conditioning isn’t a new development in HVAC technology, although it is new to many homeowners. These systems started out as solutions for the air conditioning problems in restaurants, but their many advantages have moved over to the residential sector now.

Ductless ACs work through a similar “split system” as standard ducted systems: there is an outside unit, and it connects to an indoor unit that distributes the conditioned air. However, instead of a single indoor cabinet, a ductless system uses multiple smaller blower units are mounted throughout the house and which direct the cooled air straight into the rooms—no ductwork required. These systems are also heat pumps, which means they can heat as well as cool.

Call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. for installation of ductless air conditioning in Everett, WA for your home. We have helped our community since 1977.

Is a ductless mini split heat pump ideal for your house?

For all the advantages that ductless systems offer (zone control cooling and heating, lower utility bills, no issues with air quality due to ductwork), they aren’t perfect for every home. For example, if you have a house with an extensive ductwork system already in place, then a ductless heat pump may be redundant.

However, there are situations where a ductless system has major advantages for a home. One of them is for houses that are old or historic, and which never had ducts or even the room to add them in the first place. For these homes, the only options for ACs used to be inefficient window units. Ductless mini splits allow these houses to have central air conditioning (and heating) without damaging their walls with expensive ventilation shafts.

If you are planning to remodel your home, then you should consider the advantages of a ductless system. With a ductless mini split heat pump, you can bypass the size-consuming ducts and have more freedom to plan the re-design as you want. This is even more important if you are building a new home: with ducts removed entirely from the blueprints, you’ll have more space and more opportunities.

Finally, ductless systems are good for add-on rooms. Instead of hooking the additonal room to the ductwork and possibly needing to install a new AC to accommodate the increase in size, simply connect a ductless mini split to the room so it has its own climate controls.

Always consult with the experts

If you are experiencing difficulty making a final choice about ductless air conditioning in Everett, WA, call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. We will be happy to look over your house and find the best way to heat and cool it, whether it involves ducts or not.

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3 Considerations When Repairing Outdoor Lighting

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Whether the lights outside your home are functional or part of the décor, they are one of the most powerful parts of the electrical system. Because of the high amounts of energy these lights use, they sometimes malfunction and require repairs.

If you have trouble with your outdoor lighting and need electrical repair in Everett, WA, you should have top-level experts on the job. G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. has the staff ready to do whatever job is necessary to restore your lights and make them even better than before.

3 things to consider for outdoor lighting repair

  • Don’t handle the work yourself: Fixing issues with outdoor lighting is rarely as simple as replacing a 60 watt light bulb. Not only are the lights more complex, require careful voltage matching, and have special shielding from the weather, but their repair issues are often concerned with wiring that is buried in the ground: you shouldn’t try to dig down into your property to find the where the wiring trouble is. There’s also the issue of appearance: doing repair work yourself without an eye toward the design and the look of your home’s exterior can end up creating an eyesore. Outdoor and landscape lighting specialists should take on this job.
  • Replace older lights with low-voltage lights: If you haven’t had new outdoor lighting put in during the last decade, take the opportunity during repairs to have technicians install low-voltage LED lights. These lights will maintain the proper illumination level that you want with but will consume much less energy. You can expect to cut down on your electricity bill significantly with these new lights.
  • Service panel upgrade: Here is another good choice for older lighting systems. Replacing the older service panel that runs the lights will make the system more efficient and less likely to experience overloads from upgrading other parts of the lighting system.

You should always keep in mind the possibility of doing a full redesign for your home’s lighting if it needs frequent repairs or is greater than 10 years old. This will give you a more attractive outside and let you take advantage of recreational areas long after the sun goes down. Improved lighting will also make your home safer and more secure.

Contact our specialists in outdoor lighting and electrical repair in Everett, WA today to learn more about how we can help you with your lighting issues.

From installation to repair work, G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical has the experts and the services available to care for your home’s lighting.

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3 Things to Consider When Installing a New Electrical Outlet

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Outlets in a home won’t endure forever, especially if they are older, non-grounded models. Sometimes electrical fires can start behind the outlets, charring them, in which case you need to hurry and have them replaced and the source of the fire located and remedied. Other times, outlets will stop working because of worn-down, aging wiring. Whatever the reason, call for new electrical installation in Lynnwood, WA to put in new, modern outlets.

It’s easy to have all your electrical needs taken care of in one place: contact G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc., where we’ve served the Puget Sound Area since 1977.

3 things you should consider with new outlet installation

  1. Don’t attempt the work on your own: This caveat applies to almost all electrical work. Because there is a large danger of receiving a high-voltage shock from untrained tampering with an electrical outlet, it is something only professionals should handle. There is also the potential for electrical fire damage later if mistakes are made with the wiring.
  2. Have GFCI outlets installed: You may not know the term “GCFI outlet” (the letters stand for “ground fault circuit interrupter”) but you have seen them in newer homes and buildings: they have the two colored buttons between the outlets sockets. These outlets work like local circuit breakers designed to stop the flow of electricity from the socket; however, the purpose isn’t to protect the electrical system like circuit breakers, but to protect people from receiving shocks from the outlet or any appliance hooked to it. For your family’s safety, make sure you have these outlets installed. Any electrician worth hiring will suggest GFCI outlets, as well as AFCI outlets to help prevent fires (this is often required by law for installation in bedrooms).
  3. Do you need wiring replacement? For an older home, installing new electrical outlets could place too much load on the wiring, leading to tripped circuit breakers and maybe even electrical fires. In some cases, you will benefit from wire replacement services so you can have the best new outlets.

At G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc., we take the quality of our service seriously and place the confidence and trust of our customers as the most valuable commodity. Whatever you need for electrical installation in Lynwood, WA, you can count on our staff to handle it quickly and correctly.

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3 Possible Upgrades for Your Air Conditioning System

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

If your current air conditioner still runs effectively and without excessive repair needs, you probably don’t want to replace it just yet. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make it work better with a few upgrades. There are a number of options available to you for getting the most out of your current AC. We’ll look at three of the more common ones.

Whether you want to increase your AC’s performance or simply replace it with new air conditioning system installation in Everett, WA, contact the staff at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. We’ve helped homeowners in the Puget Sound Area receive quality home comfort since 1977.

1. New Thermostat

If you have an old manual thermostat or a basic digital thermostat without programming, then you are missing out on some fantastic benefits. The current digital thermostats available have precision settings and a full range of control options. Programmable thermostats allow you to set the system to turn on and off in your absence, so you can have the air conditioner turn on a half hour before you return home to cool down the house for you—no need to waste energy keeping it on all day or to come home to a stuffy house. You can also install a wireless model for greater convenience and ease of placement.

2. Zone Control System

Using zone control, you can change what parts of your home receive cooling. A standard central AC must cool down all the rooms connect to its ventilation system when it turns on. But using the dampers and separate thermostats installed for zone control, a homeowner only needs to send conditioned air to rooms that require it. Zone control not only means savings on utility bills, it also allows greater comfort for more people, since individuals can control the temperature wherever they are to suit their needs.

3. A New High-Efficiency Outdoor Compressor

If you want to benefit from better compressor technology for high-efficiency performance, you don’t necessarily have to replace the whole AC. You can instead have the outdoor compressor changed for one that runs 30%–50% more efficiently.

Keep in mind that sometimes your best choice is to have a new AC installed. If you are thinking of upgrading an air conditioner that is already at or beyond its manufacturer’s estimated lifespan, then you should look into a replacement instead as a more cost-effective and long-term option. Talk to your HVAC technicians about whether upgrades or new installation is the best option.

G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. takes pride in the work we do for air conditioning system installation in Everett, WA as well as the variety of upgrades we offer. Contact us today to find out how you can have better air conditioning this summer.

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Schedule Air Conditioning Maintenance before the Summer Hits

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

It’s easy to take for granted that an air conditioning system will operate fine for years without much help from you. If your AC needs to have repairs, you can schedule them and then forget about it until another repair need crops up later.

However, an AC must have regular maintenance—done every year from a licensed professional—for it to live up to the standard its manufacturer set for it. Similar to a car, an air conditioner that does not receive routine maintenance to inspect it for problems and take care of necessary adjustments and tune-ups will not last long—especially if you use it extensively during the summer.

However, signing up for regular maintenance is a snap: just contact G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. and ask about our pre-paid maintenance program. Get this task done in spring before the summer heat arrives so you will have sufficient time to take care of any repair needs discovered during the maintenance visit.

What happens to an air conditioner if it doesn’t receive annual maintenance from an HVAC technician?

  • The system will begin to age rapidly, leading to a premature breakdown and need for replacement.
  • The increasing amount of stress from deterioration will begin to lower the system’s efficiency by 5% per year, if not more. This will lead to an increase in electrical bills.
  • The air conditioner will begin to incur frequent repairs.
  • The cooling performance of the system will start to drop.

Maintenance consists of a number of inspections and tasks that will reduce strain on the AC and see that it operates at its best. These steps include:

  • Changing the air filter.
  • Clearing the condensate drain.
  • Tightening all electrical connections.
  • Cleaning the evaporator and condenser coils.
  • Checking on the refrigerant charge.
  • Looking over the motors to spot extra stress and loss of lubrication.
  • Checking on airflow levels.
  • Replacing failing capacitors.
  • Tests on the electrical systems.
  • Visual check for malfunctions.

A maintenance technician will alert you to anything in the system that needs repairs beyond those that are part of the regular tune-up so you can schedule the work.

At G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc., we encourage our customers to have their air conditioning maintenance in Mill Creek, WA done during the spring (and have heating maintenance in the fall). When you sign up for our pre-paid maintenance program, along with your two tune-ups per year you will also receive a 10% discount on parts and labor for all repairs, priority scheduling (jump to the head of the line!), and never pay overtime rates. Place the care of your air conditioner in our skilled hands and you will enjoy many years of effective and efficient service from it.

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Is It Time to Replace Your Air Conditioning System?

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Spring is a good time of the year to ask if you should retire your aging air conditioner and replace it with a new model. You may be sitting on the fence about replacement: The AC might manage to make it through the summer, which would save you money as well as the time for installation. On the other hand, you’re risking a summer breakdown in the system, which will be a huge inconvenience and will cost more than if you replaced the AC earlier. Which is the best choice?

We can’t give you a simple answer… at least, not yet. You will have to call us and talk to one of our specialists in air conditioning replacement in Lynnwood, WA. Our staff at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. has many years of working with ACs, and we can help you make the choice about replacement. If it turns out that replacement is your best option, you can rely on us to install your new system so it works its best.

Indicators That You Should Replace Your Air Conditioner

  • Extreme age: Check on the estimated lifespan for your system that its manufacturer set for it. (You should find this on the indoor cabinet.) If the system has already exceeded this, than you should replace the system; the chances of it starting to lose efficiency and costing more to run than it’s worth are very high. In general, any air conditioner more than 15 years old should be retired.
  • High electrical bills (that won’t go down): An air conditioner that receives annual maintenance should maintain 95% of its energy efficiency throughout its expected lifetime. If you notice that you are paying more on your electrical bills due to the air conditioner, and no amount of maintenance or repairs reverses the trend, then the system has likely passed a point of no return and will need replacement.
  • Too many repairs: Most HVAC systems will incur the most repairs during the last two years of their service life. A rise in the amount of repairs necessary to keep an air conditioner running is a major indicator that it is no longer worth keeping. If the repair costs per year to sustain an AC are greater than $500, then it’s time to schedule a replacement.

Replacing and air conditioning system is a large task, so consult with experts before making this decision. Once you choose to go with new installation, let the experts take over the job so it will get done fast and accurately, and you’ll have your cooling back.

Contact G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. with your questions about air conditioning replacement in Lynnwood, WA.

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How You Can Tell You Need Air Conditioning Repairs

Monday, May 19th, 2014

The last thing you want to happen during an extra hot summer day is for your air conditioning system to conk out. But if you ignore earlier signs that an AC has a malfunction, you are at risk of this happening, leaving you stranded while repair technicians try to reach you. You can save yourself this inconvenience and the expensive work necessary to restore your cooling system by calling for repairs the moment you notice the air conditioner is having problems.

There are a number of signs that an air conditioner needs repairs. We’ll look at some of the more common. If you encounter any of these during the last days of spring and early days of summer, call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. right away. With our skilled air conditioning repair service technicians in Everett, WA, we will keep the rest of your summer trouble-free.

Warning Signs of Air Conditioner Malfunctions

  • Noisy operation: The whir of fans and the hum of the compressor in an air conditioner are essential parts of the soundscape of summer. If that gentle white noise shatters because of the intrusion of grinding, groaning, slapping, clicking, and hissing sounds… you better call for repairs right away. Any of these noises can indicate a malfunction or damage that can cause a chain reaction of other problems if not fixed quickly.
  • Higher utility bills: If you spot an abrupt spike in your electrical bills during the spring or summer after you turn on the air conditioner, it often means that something inside the AC isn’t working right. You could have failing motors, dirt along either the indoor or outdoor coils, electrical problems, a clogged air filter, or a malfunctioning thermostat. It will take the investigative work of an HVAC professional to locate the cause and figure out how to fix it.
  • Drop in air pressure: When you find spots in your home that aren’t getting as cool as they should, check on the airflow from the vents. If the air pressure feels lower than usual, you may have fan problems. There could also be leaks in the ductwork, and this will require the work of duct sealing specialists.
  • Loss of cooling: If the air conditioner no longer seems able to cool down your house to the level you expect, you could have trouble with the compressor, a leak in refrigerant, or a miscalibration with the thermostat—among other possibilities. Technicians will get to the bottom of the problem quickly.

Diagnosing the faults in an air conditioning system is a difficult task, so leave this job to licensed HVAC professionals. When you call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. in Everett, WA for air conditioning repair, we will send out only the finest technicians. Since 1977 we have developed a reputation for dependability throughout the Puget Sound Area.

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Is a Geothermal Heat Pump in Shoreline Sufficient for All Seasons?

Friday, May 9th, 2014

If you have investigated heat pumps as a possibility for home comfort, you may have learned about their single major drawback: heating inefficiency in extreme low temperatures. Although the Puget Sound Area experiences milder winters than most regions in the northern United States, we definitely have days where the thermometer drops far enough that a standard air-source heat pump will begin to struggle delivering the right level of warmth.

However, a geothermal heat pump is not an air-source heat pump, but rather a ground-source one. Instead of using the outside air as its medium of exchange, it uses the ground at 6 feet or deeper. This makes a significant difference in the efficiency of the system and its usefulness as a year-round comfort solution.

Contact G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. today to learn more about ground-source heat pumps in Shoreline, WA. We have expert installers on staff who know how to locate the right heat pump to fit your home.

The Secret of the Success of the Geothermal Heat Pump

One of the significant advantages of a ground-source heat pump is that it always has a reliable temperature to use for heat exchange. Only 6–10 feet under the surface, the earth maintains a steady temperature around 55°F, no matter how hot or cold the weather is topside. The loops of a geothermal system that carry refrigerant (usually water) move through the earth and use the stable temperature for heat exchange. An air-source heat pump is at the mercy of the outdoor temperature, so when the thermometer drops below freezing, the system will have trouble drawing heat from the outside to move to the inside. A geothermal system, with an ample 55°F always available to it, will not encounter this difficulty.

As for cooling mode, a geothermal heat pump is always up to the challenge of the summers in Shoreline. Heat pumps in general have powerful efficiency as air conditioners, able to match any standard AC unit of comparable size.

Make Sure a Geothermal Heat Pump Is Right for You

The reliability of ground-source heat pumps makes them attractive options. They also cost less to run than most cooling systems, so even though they have a higher upfront installation price, they will payback that cost in 5–10 years—and they often last more than 50 years.

But geothermal isn’t the ideal choice for every home: you need a certain amount of space and the right local conditions. Call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. and have one of our technicians experienced with heat pumps in Shoreline, WA survey your home and property to help find the best system for you.

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