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

Why Should I Get a Ductless Mini-Split System?

Monday, June 30th, 2014

There are several choices available for homeowners when it comes to choosing a replacement for your aging air conditioner. One that has gained popularity over the last few years is the ductless mini-split system. Long-used in commercial properties, ductless air conditioners have become a great option for homeowners for several reasons. If you are considering a replacement for your air conditioning system, you may want to look at a ductless system from G&S Heating, Cooling and Electrical, Inc., to see what it can offer you and your property.

What Is a Ductless Mini-Split System?

A ductless mini-split air conditioner is an AC system that delivers whole-home air conditioning without the use of ductwork. Ductless ACs use an outdoor unit very similar to a traditional split-system air conditioner in combination with individual indoor blowers instead of ducts.

What Are the Benefits to a Ductless Mini-Split System?

There a several benefits to installing a ductless air conditioner:

  1. No need for expensive ductwork – as the name indicates, and as stated above, no ductwork is needed for a ductless system to work. This eliminates the need to install expensive ductwork into a home without it, as well as the need to install ductwork into any addition you may add to your home.
  1. Automatic zone control – each blower you install is programmable, allowing owners to set an exact temperature for each room or area that it covers. This creates better comfort and energy efficiency.
  1. Easier installation – blowers for a ductless system are rather small andinstall easily above doorways and windows, can be mounted flush against a wall or hang from a ceiling. The blowers connect to the outside unit through a 3” hole placed in an exterior wall that will hold the conduit that connects the two components. One outside unit can support up to 4 blowers.
  1. Small space requirement – as stated above, the individual blowers for a ductless air conditioner are not very large, allowing for them to be mounted in spaces where larger ductwork or window air conditioners won’t work.
  1. Great for specialized architecture – specialized architecture, such as vaulted ceilings, can be a challenge to cool evenly. With a ductless blower, you can cool individual spaces as needed without affecting other parts of your home.

Is a Ductless Mini System for Me?

The best way to determine if a ductless mini-system split air conditioner is a good choice for your air conditioning replacement in Lynnwood is to work with a trained professional. Many factors should be considered before purchasing any air conditioning system and a ductless system is no exception.

Call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc., today and schedule a consultation with one of our experts to see if a ductless air conditioner is a good fit for you.

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Options to Consider When Replacing Your Air Conditioner

Friday, June 27th, 2014

Unfortunately, your AC system won’t last forever. Even with regular maintenance, your air conditioner will eventually quit running as smoothly as it once did. If you’ve had to make frequent phone calls to an air conditioning repair service recently, you may be due for a system replacement. Today, there are many affordable, energy-efficient options available.

Choosing a new AC system doesn’t have to be difficult. If you’re looking for air conditioning replacement service in Lynnwood, here are some options you should consider.

Whole-System Replacement

If only one part of your system is failing, you may think that replacing only that component will fix the problem. However, you should consider replacing both the outdoor and indoor components of an older system, even if only one component fails. System components have advanced recently in design, performance, and efficiency, so your system will likely have a longer lifespan with fewer repair issues if you replace both the indoor and outdoor units.

Types of Systems

One of the first things you should discuss with a technician when replacing your AC is the type of system you want. Central air conditioning, heat pumps, and ductless mini splits are all options you can discuss when considering air conditioning replacement.

Efficiency Ratings

Air conditioning systems are much more energy-efficient than they once were. If you have had your current AC system for several years, it may be using far more energy than those that are available today. Look for a system with a SEER rating of 16 or higher and the ENERGY STAR label for a system that will save you money without decreasing your AC’s performance.

Zone Control

One upgrade you may be unaware of for your new system is zone control. Along with your new central AC system, a technician can install dampers in the ductwork along with separate thermostats so you can adjust the temperature separately in each room of your home.

No matter what options you choose, replacing your AC system is the best decision you can make for increased performance and efficiency. Call G & S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. for air conditioning replacement in Lynnwood.

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Qualities of a Reliable Air Conditioning Service

Friday, June 27th, 2014

In today’s interconnected world, it only requires a few keystrokes, or even a voice-command spoken into a smart phone, to pull up a long list of local companies for any service that we may need. The disadvantage of this is that it becomes more difficult for us to cut through all the dross and find the best company to hire.

If you’re looking for a reliable company in Everett, WA for air conditioning systems, there are a few qualities you should place at the top of your shopping list. We’ve listed below a few of the criteria that we would use when looking for an AC service, based on our own years of experience working in air conditioning and heating:

  1. Many years in business: Longevity is always a positive sign for any company. For an air conditioning service, it indicates the sort of hands-on training that can mean the difference between an “adequate” repair job and an “excellent” one. A company with many decades of experience is also one that has earned the trust of numerous customers and of the community in general. Look for an air conditioning service with at least ten years of work backing it.
  2. Offers indoor air quality services: The actual air conditioner cabinets are only one part of the comfort system that delivers you cool air. The complex ductwork hooked up to the AC is a vital system for your comfort and for your health. An air conditioning company that offers indoor air quality services such as duct cleaning, duct sealing, and installation of air cleaners, humidifiers, and dehumidifiers, can take the care of your air conditioner to an even higher level of quality.
  3. A maintenance plan: You must have regular maintenance done on your air conditioner, or else it will run inefficiently and encounter frequent repair needs and breakdowns. Although most AC companies offer maintenance, you want a company with a pre-paid maintenance plan that includes other benefits, such as discounts, priority service, seasonal offers, and more.

At G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc., you will find all of the above. We are now in our 37th year of business, and along with the services listed in our company name, we also offer indoor air quality and a pre-paid maintenance program for your AC and your heater. When it comes to air conditioning systems in Everett, WA, you can rely on us.

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3 Advantages of Ductless Air Conditioning in Everett

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

In the last few years, ductless air conditioning has become a great whole-property cooling option for many residential homeowners. Long used in commercial spaces, the benefits of ductless ACs are just as applicable to home properties as they have been for businesses, and this has shown in their growing popularity. G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. has been installing ductless air conditioning throughout Everett and the surrounding areas for quite some time now, and we’ve come to see some distinct benefits of installing this type of air conditioning. However, any decisions about a new air conditioner should be made with the help of a professional, so if you are considering the purchase of a new system, our experts are here to help.

Why Consider Ductless Cooling?

Ductless cooling offers some benefits you may not get with other types of air conditioners:

  • No ductwork needed – the most obvious benefit – as per the name of the system – is that ductwork isn’t needed for this type of air conditioner to work. This is great news for those with older homes that do not have ductwork.
  • Built-in zone control – each individual blower is programmable and controlled by its own thermostat, and because the blowers operate per space/room, the placement of the blower and its ability to be programmed means you automatically have zone control cooling throughout your home. This gives you control over comfort levels, temperature and the ability to turn a blower on or off as needed.
  • Greater energy efficiency – with the automatic zone control, you have the ability to cool a space/room at the temperature you want, when you want it, without impacting other parts of your home. If there are areas of your home that are unoccupied, you can turn the air conditioning off completely, saving you from paying for cooling you aren’t using.

Is Ductless Air Conditioning Right for You?

The best way to determine if ductless air conditioning is a good choice for your Everett property is to sit down with an experienced professional and go over the pros and cons of such a system in your home. Since 1977, G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. has helped customers in Everett select, purchase and install the right air conditioners for their homes. Are you thinking about installing a ductless air conditioner? Call today and schedule a consultation with one of our professionals.

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Air Conditioning Repair FAQ: What Is the Condensate Pan?

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

An air conditioning system runs from electricity, but you may notice at times the sound of dripping and running water from the inside of the evaporator cabinet. That is part of the evaporation stage of heat exchange and a sound you should expect to hear during normal operation. Thanks to component called the condensate pan, you won’t have to worry about what happens to that water—unless there’s something wrong with the pan and the drain attached to it.

If you encounter issues with water dripping from your air conditioner, you probably have a repair need in the condensate pan. This requires the work of professionals to fix; don’t try to tamper with the condensate drainage on your own, since you might risk creating an even worse leak. Call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. We’re ready to bring out 37 years of experience to the job of whatever air conditioning repair in Everett, WA you need this summer. (We’ll help you with heating during the winter as well!)

The Condensate Pan and Repair Issues

During the evaporation stage of air conditioning, the evaporator coil removes heat from the indoor air, and also removes excess moisture from the air. This moisture condenses along the evaporator coil, and then drips downward to the condensate pan, a shallow metal pan located at the bottom of the evaporator unit. A drain connected to the pan and a small condensate pump remove this moisture done a drain line and into the wastewater system.

A common problem that can occur in the condensate pan is algal blockage starting in the drain. If enough biological growth gets inside the drain, the shallow pan will quickly overflow with backed-up water, leading to water damage around the air conditioner and possibly the growth of mold and mildew. Repair technicians will remove the pan, clean the drain or replace it, and then reattach the pan.

A back-up of water can also happen if the condensate pump stops working because water gets into its system. Usually, the pump will need replacement.

The condensate pan can sometimes become dislodged from the drain, and when this happens, water will start to drip from the bottom of the pan. Repair technicians will need to find a way to reattach the drain, and sometimes this will require a new drain.

Watch for Water Leaks

Your air conditioner may make the sound of dripping water, but you shouldn’t see water dripping from it. Should this occur, call for repairs immediately before you have expensive water damage to take care of.

G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. has many years of experience repairing air conditioning systems in Everett, WA. Make us your first call when you notice water leaking from your AC.

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Is It Too Late to Schedule Air Conditioning Maintenance?

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

When your air conditioning appears to be functioning properly, it may be easy to forget to schedule regular maintenance. However, yearly maintenance is an important step toward maintaining a fully functioning air conditioning system and making sure your system won’t slow down or run into problems later on.

You should call a technician once a year to be certain that your system is operating to its full potential. However, if you feel you’ve waited too long, or you’ve never had your system professionally maintained, it’s not too late to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Mill Creek with an expert technician from G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc.

Scheduling Maintenance Promotes Energy Efficiency

Calling a technician now can help ensure that your system is energy efficient. A technician will check for any debris accumulation or wear and tear that could be affecting your system and will perform all necessary adjustments to make sure everything is running smoothly. During inspection, a technician will alert you to any issues that may become a problem in the future. Your air conditioner will be thoroughly cleaned and inspected to make sure your system does not short cycle or malfunction for maximum energy efficiency. If you feel your air conditioning has become less efficient over the years, consider once-a-year maintenance so that your air conditioner remains energy efficient for the life of the system.

Scheduling Maintenance Saves You Money in the Future

A technician can alert you to any small problems with your system that could cause major issues in the future. Any minor dents, bends, or leaks may develop into larger problems later on. Regularly scheduled maintenance can prevent the development of costly damage that could have been resolved at an earlier time. A technician will examine coils, motors, and other parts you cannot check on your own. This can extend the lifespan of your system so that a premature replacement is not eventually needed.

Even if it’s been longer than a year, call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. today to schedule your Mill Creek air conditioning maintenance and prevent future problems with your system.

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How to Prepare for a New Air Conditioning Installation in Shoreline

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

You’ve made the decision to move ahead and purchase a new air conditioning system for your property. But whether you are installing an air conditioner for the first time or replacing an outdated unit, there are a number of factors that need to be reviewed, considered and calculated before deciding which system is the best one for your home. Many people believe the main consideration is the square footage of your property, and while square footage is part of the overall picture, it is only one aspect of all that should go into your decision. Your air conditioning installation is for the long-term, so it’s important to work with a specialist from G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc., to ensure you install an air conditioning system that meets your needs.

Factors to Consider

There are a number of things to review before installing a new air conditioning system in your home:

Ductwork

Does your home have ductwork? If so, what kind of shape is it in and can it handle the load of a new air conditioning system? Having your ductwork thoroughly inspected by a professional for adequacy, faults, leaks and cleanliness is important to do before installing a new air conditioning system.

Cooling Load

Do you know exactly how much cooling your home will need to be comfortable throughout the day? The cooling load takes into account many factors, including insulation levels, the orientation of your home, daytime heat gain, floor plan, etc. Determining how much cooling you need for your property can be a complicated calculation, so it’s best to do it with a trained professional.

Energy Efficiency

Today’s air conditioners are far more energy efficient than they were just 10 years ago. With new environmental standards in place, whole-home air conditioners now have a range of energy efficiency levels as detailed by SEER numbers (SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency rating). The scale for SEER starts at 0 and goes as high as 23. Since 2006, air conditioners have had to be manufactured with a minimum SEER of 13, but you can choose to purchase a system with a higher rating. Determining what SEER number is best for your property requires some calculation, something with which a professional can help you.

Don’t Go It Alone – Call an HVAC Expert

The more time you take to figure out exactly what you need from your new air conditioning system, the better off you and your property will be. The best way to do this is with a trained expert, like the ones we have at G&S Heating, Cooling and Electric, Inc. Your air conditioner is going to be with you for a long time so make sure your air conditioning installation in Shoreline goes just as you want it to.

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Repairs for Your Circuit Breaker Panel

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

The circuit breaker panel (also known as a distribution panel or service panel) has replaced the old-fashioned fuse box in U.S. residences as the center of a house’ electrical system and the key safety point where circuits are interrupted to prevent fires and other hazards. But although a circuit breaker panel in your home helps to prevent repair problems elsewhere, it will sometimes need repairs itself.

These repairs require professional electricians to perform. All important electrical work needs trained professionals, but when it comes to circuit breaker panels it’s especially important because all the power in a house runs through this board.

For electrical system repairs in Mill Creek, WA for your circuit breaker panel, contact the experienced team at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. We’ve brought the Puget Sound Area high quality electrical work since 1977.

Circuit Breaker Panel Repairs

  • Changing bad circuit breakers: The breakers in the panel are designed so that you can reset them easily after they trip. However, a breaker can eventually fail from corrosion or other damage, and it will need a replacement. If a breaker trips and you can’t reset it, then you should call for electrical repairs to remove the front of the panel, detach the failed breaker, and replace it with an appropriately sized new breaker.
  • Fixing loose and bad wire connections: Sometimes the issue isn’t that a breaker has gone bad, but that the wiring connections in the panel have failed or come loose. This involves a bit of investigative work on the part of the professional electrician to determine what wiring needs repairs, which is yet another reason to make certain to only hire licensed experts to do the work.
  • Full panel replacement: When you call for repairs on a panel that has failed repeatedly, the technicians may advise that you have a new panel installed. Your panel may have simply worn down, but more likely your home has demands on the electrical system that now exceed what an aging panel can handle. An updated panel will give you a more efficient and safer home.

At G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc., we specialize in circuit breaker panel upgrades and repairs that will keep your house safe and the electricity flowing. We can handle these extensive electrical system repairs in Mill Creek, WA—we’re only a phone call away. And if you still have an older fuse box, contact us immediately to arrange for an update to a modern circuit breaker panel.

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What Is the National Electric Code?

Monday, June 16th, 2014

As professional electricians, we always stress that homeowners must never attempt electrical repairs on their own without proper training, licensing, and equipment. This is principally to protect people from high voltage shocks and electrical fires. But it is also important that a house’s electrical system remain up to code.

But just what is this nebulous “code”? It isn’t so nebulous as you might think: it’s called the National Electric Code or the NEC. It helps keep you and your home safe through the standardization of electrical practices.

Whenever you need electricians in Shoreline, WA who will make sure that your home’ electrical system lives up to and beyond the safety standards of the National Electric Code, call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. We can handle all your needs for electrical repairs and installation.

The National Electric Code

The NEC is not actually a part of U.S. law. It is a set of standards established by the National
Fire Protection Association starting in 1897 for the safe installation and repair of electrical wiring. Any state, municipality, city, or other jurisdiction can adopt the code and enforce it. A jurisdiction can choose to amend or reject the code at its discretion.

Essentially, the NEC is a collection of what the top experts in fire prevention in the country consider the best standards for safety in electrical wiring, and this set of standards is collected and made available to local governments to use as part of local laws at their discretion. The code is updated every three years, and the current NEC is available to the public in a bound book containing over a thousand pages. The code is also available online through the NFPA’s website.

What Does All This Mean For You?

It depends on your jurisdiction. Your city, state, or municipality will have its own version of the code and its own method of enforcement. Nobody expects you to go read the entire NEC online: local electricians will know how the code is used in their jurisdictions. This knowledge is one of the qualities that separates professional electricians from amateurs. While performing repairs and installations, trained and licensed electricians will make certain that the work done keeps a building within the restrictions of the local version of the NEC.

G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. has worked in the Puget Sound Area since 1977. Our electricians are familiar with all the local rules, regulations, and codes. You can trust them to keep your home and family safe with any work that they do.

Electrical work is too important to leave to anybody except the most skilled technicians. The next time you need electricians in Shoreline, WA, look to us for the quality service you need.

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Electrical Services FAQ: How Do Surge Protectors Work?

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Surge protectors have become as much a part of daily life as computers: we are all accustomed to having power strips connected to outlets into which we plug our desktops and laptops. These strips help protect the microchips inside computer systems from damage due to sudden increases in power than can come through the electrical system.

However, power strips are not the only defense you should have against power surges. You should also consider a whole-house surge protector, which can defend all your appliances from the numerous smaller surges that can occur multiple times during the day. Electricians can hard-wire a whole-house surge protector into your electrical panel to keep your electronic devices safe from surges both large and small.

Contact G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. for electrical services in Everett, WA for your home, from surge protectors to whole house rewiring.

How Surge Protectors Defend Your Electronic Devices

A surge is any increase in voltage that is significantly higher than a household’s normal level. The standard voltage for a U.S. home is 120 volts, and anything higher that lasts for more than three nanoseconds is considered a surge. (If it’s two nanoseconds it’s called a spike.) A surge can come from something as large a lightning strike to something as small as another appliance making a sudden demand on the power supply.

Whole-house surge protectors are designed to withstand a large range of surges: pretty much anything up a lightning bolt striking near your house. Unlike point-of-use surge protectors, which simply cut off the power when too much voltage tries to pass through, a whole-house surge protector detects the increase in voltage and then diverts the power down through a home’s grounding path. This means that the surge protector will keep away multiple smaller surges without requiring you to reset the system every time it does. The system comes with an indicator light that will inform you if it has stopped functioning and needs to be reset.

A whole-house surge protector guards all the lines coming into your house, since surges can come through cable and phone lines as well. Your installer will make sure that all the routes into your home are routed through the surge protector.

We still recommend that you have point-of-use power strips for your computers and other valuable appliances; in the case of electrical surges, there is no such thing a “too much protection.”

Call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. today to arrange for the electrical services in Everett, WA to install a whole-house surge protector to keep your valuable equipment safe.

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