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

Why Hire a Professional Electrician for Your Indoor Lighting

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Hiring a professional electrician to help you redesign your indoor lighting is an excellent way to give your home a fresh look without having to opt for extensive remodeling work. You will also want to hire a professional to handle the indoor lighting installation for new home construction or during a large house/room redesign.

Indoor lighting installation is a job to leave to professionals. Although you may feel tempted to take this on as a DIY project or have amateur offering “bargain” rates to do the work, there are a number of reasons that you should instead call a company experienced with electrical installation in Lynnwood, WA. G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. has more than 35 years of experience in the Puget Sound area with all types of electrical installation work.

Reasons to Go Professional for Your Indoor Lighting Installation

  • Better, more attractive design: Indoor lighting requires an eye toward how to place the fixtures and what type to place in order to create the lighting effects that you want. Expert electricians know how powerful a light you will need for soft, low-glare lighting, and how to create the right kind of accenting that will make your home’s interior attractive without creating unpleasant glares and harsh shadowing.
  • Increased efficiency: A poorly done lighting installation will mean excess electrical power going to lights that aren’t doing the best job they could. An electrician will make sure that your new lights do not waste energy.
  • Stay up to code: This is critical: your home must remain within the safety restrictions of the local version of the National Electrical Code. The application of the NEC differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but a professional electrician will know the code for your area and see that your lighting lives up to it.
  • Speed: When you consider that amount of time it will take you to try to perform the indoor installation yourself (or to let amateurs try to fumble through the process), the small savings you might receive are simply not worth it.

Whether you are remodeling, building a new home, adding on a room, or simply upgrading your current lighting to something more modern and attractive, contact G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. and speak to our experts in electrical installation in Lynnwood, WA. They will be happy to go over your proposed project and give you the professional assistance you need to get the most attractive, energy-efficient, and safe indoor lighting possible.

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What Happens During a Geothermal Installation?

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Are you interested in something different for your air conditioning replacement? You don’t have to opt for a standard central AC, especially if you would like to find a way to save on bills, go for many years before the next replacement, and benefit the environment. To have all these benefits and more, you can choose installation of a geothermal heat pump, which can both heat and cool your home using the stable temperature of the earth as its medium for heat exchange.

You may at first shy away from this suggestion: doesn’t geothermal require an enormous amount of planning, labor, and digging? It’s true that geothermal installation is not a simple task, but that’s why you hire experts like the team at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. to handle all the hard work. We’ll explain a bit more about what occurs during installation to show you what the process actually involves: it’s faster and easier than you might guess.

The Stages of Geothermal Installation

The first part of installation is planning how best to place the ground loops that will carry the refrigerant in your property. A geothermal design specialist will determine the right configuration for the loops (vertical or horizontal) and where they should be placed to work most efficiently.

The next stage is to install the indoor heat pump components and connect them to your ventilation system. This process is the same for a standard heat pump or air conditioner, and usually the new system can connect to the current ductwork with no changes.

The outdoor work now begins. An above-ground pump and manifold are put in, while the ground loops are set into their configurations along wooden frames and then attached together. The installers dig the trenches to the depth necessary to take advantage of the stable temperature below the frost line (usually this is around 10 feet deep). The grounds loops are then laid flat at the bottom of the trenches.

The ends up the loops are attached to the manifold. The technicians will put the system through a few hours of tests to see that there are no leaks or any other issues. They then fill in the trenches and re-landscape the lawn to return your property to the way they found it.

The installation work can sometimes take 6 days to complete. But here’s something to consider: the buried coils can often last more than 50 years! That’s more than twice the life you will get from a standard air conditioner or heat pump. When you look at the longevity and the potential savings, the actual work of installation is a small and worthwhile investment.

Call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. for an appointment with one of our geothermal design specialist. It may turn out that a geothermal heat pump is the best of all possible options for your air conditioning replacement in Lynwood, WA.

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3 Misunderstandings People Have about Electrical Services

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

No system in your home is more vital on a day-to-day, hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute basis than the electrical system. Even a gas-powered furnace or boiler requires electricity to start. You need to have regular electrical services for your home to keep its appliances, circuitry, outlets, circuit breaker panel, and other fixtures repaired and maintained. This is crucial not only to keep the voltage flowing through your home, but also to avoid dangers from electrical fires and high voltage shocks.

Unfortunately, homeowners have a number of misconceptions about electrical services, and we’d like to clear up a few of them in this post.

When you need quality electrical services in Everett, WA, turn to a company that has handled it since 1977: G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. When you depend on something as much as your electrical power, make sure that you rely on electricians as dependable as ours.

3 Common Electrical Services Misconceptions

  1. “I can handle most repairs without professional assistance”: You can change a light bulb on your own… but owning a pair of wire cutters and wire strippers does not mean you are qualified to repair broken outlets or fix damaged circuits. Almost all electrical repairs in a home require the work of a licensed electrician to perform. You risk a serious high voltage shock if your tamper with wiring without training and the proper tools. You could also cause damage that will lead to a serious electrical fire hazard. Don’t make these mistakes: call for professionals when you need repairs.
  2. Power strips are sufficient for surge protection: Power strips for point-of-use protection against surges can work quite well, and we don’t advocate that you stop using them. However, these small guards against surges will not protect your home against either a massive surge or the series of smaller ones that will often pass through your electrical system unnoticed. If surges become a regular issue in your home, you should invest in the installation of a whole-house surge protector wired into the electrical panel.
  3. Any home’s wiring is sufficient for modern power needs: It is astonishing how immensely our power needs have increased over the last few decades. The amperage necessary to run monitors, computers, entertainment systems, contemporary kitchen appliances, and to provide charging stations for phones, tablets, and laptops can often exceed the electrical load of the circuitry in a house. A home built as recently as the 1980s can face strain from contemporary power demands. One of the best electrical services you can schedule for an older home is to have renovations and upgrades to the wiring and the outlets. Have a professional electrician look over your current system to see if you will benefit from new wiring to keep up with the times.

At G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc., we offer a wide variety of electrical services in Everett, WA. From whole-house upgrades to installing surge protectors, smoke detectors, and new circuit breaker panels, you can trust our licensed staff to take care of the vital electrical system that gets your through the days and nights.

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Do Generators Need Regular Repairs and Maintenance?

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

The job of a standby generator for your home is to protect you and your family in case of an extended loss of power. The right sized generator, professionally installed and hooked into your electrical system, can sustain all the appliances and lights you need for your family to remain comfortable and safe during the outage. Even if you never need to use your generator, it provides peace of mind that you cannot put a price on.

In order for your generator to take care of you, you need to take care of it. Because generators only need to perform their actual job during emergencies, they will sit unattended for most of their service lives. This makes it easy to neglect them—and this might result in the generator failing to do what it’s supposed to when the time comes. Generators can need repairs, and the only way to know that a generator needs repairs aside from having it fail during an emergency is to schedule regular maintenance for it.

G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. handles all types of electrical repairs in Everett, WA that you may need, including service for generators. We offer a one-year maintenance plan for all generator installations that includes a 6-month check and a 12-month tune-up.

The Importance of Generator Maintenance

Unless you perform an occasional test to turn on your generator, it won’t run for most of the year, and this can lead to it developing mechanical and electrical problems without you knowing about it. One of the common troubles that generators will run into if they don’t receive maintenance is due to aging fuel (if your generator runs on heating fuels such as propane, diesel, gasoline, or oil rather than natural gas). Fuel left inside generators will turn stale, and this will cause the generator to have difficulty starting. During regular maintenance, usually after the storm season has passed, the technicians will empty the fuel tank and the carburetor so you can fill the generator with fresh gas.

No matter the type of fuel your generator uses, it needs engine oil to run smoothly, just like a car engine. And just like a car engine, this oil needs regular changing. Maintenance technicians will change the oil in a generator during the 12-month visit. They will also change the oil filter and air filter and look into the battery.

Maintenance includes a test run of the generator to see that it operates correctly. Technicians will be able to determine if the generator is in danger of developing malfunctions so they can schedule the necessary repairs in time for the storm season when you will need the generator ready to go.

Our experts at electrical repair on staff at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. care about your family’s well-being during an electrical outage. If you need a generator installed, or if you currently have one and want service to make sure that it is ready to guard your home and family, contact us today for an appointment.

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Should I Also Install a New Thermostat with My New Air Conditioning?

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

You’ve planned the installation of a brand new, higher-efficiency air conditioner to replace the aging one in your home. Are you also planning to install a new thermostat along with it? The installer (if you are already thinking of hiring one) has likely suggested that you take this step and make a new thermostat part of the package. This is advice to which you should definitely listen, as we’ll explain.

We’ve seen many types of thermostat in our 37 years of work here at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc., so we know all about the benefits of upgrading a thermostat as part of air conditioning installation in Shoreline, WA. Let us assist you with selecting the right new unit for your home so you will receive the most energy-efficient and comfortable performance from your new AC.

Reasons to Upgrade the Thermostat Along with Your Air Conditioner

If you are installing a new air conditioning system, the chances are high that many years have passed since your current one was installed; it may have come with the house when you moved in. Enough time will have gone by for the thermostat to fall far behind the times. The technology of thermostats today is huge strides ahead of where it was only a decade ago. The current programmable thermostats have moved far beyond the models that only had two programming settings, one for day and one for night; now thermostats can provide you with readouts about how much energy you are saving and can even “learn” from your setting history to find the perfect program. The advent of wireless thermostats allows for freer placement of the units and easy remote control. And Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats take control to a whole new level.

But the advantages of an upgrade to a thermostat are about more than the “gee-whiz” features. On a basic level, newer thermostats have better temperature precision; they are certainly superior to the manual models that were once the only option when it came to temperature control. (And if you currently have a manual thermostat, then there’s no question about whether you should have a replacement. Replace it.) More precision means better comfort and better energy efficiency.

Finally, you want to receive the best out of your new air conditioner. The system going into your home will have increased energy performance over the previous one (AC technology has advanced as well), but you won’t receive the full benefits unless you have a thermometer that can take advantage of them.

Our Shoreline, WA air conditioning installation team at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. can help you match up the ideal thermostat upgrade with your new AC. Whether it’s programmable, wireless, “smart,” or Wi-Fi enabled, we will make sure you end up with the best thermostat for your comfort needs.


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What Are the Benefits of Ductless Air Conditioning?

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Ductless air conditioning offers a solution for homes in which there is no ductwork. Sometimes, ductwork installation is difficult due to the layout of a home; for example, many older homes cannot support the ductwork required for a modern central air conditioning system. Rather than go through the hassle of trying to modify their entire home, many homeowners choose ductless air conditioning systems, which are energy-efficient as well.

Much like central air conditioning, ductless mini splits are divided into two main components: the outdoor compressor unit and the indoor evaporator units. But with ductless systems, a technician can install multiple indoor air handlers throughout the home. A fan in the indoor unit sucks in warm air and blows it over the evaporator coil. Refrigerant absorbs the heat, which then moves to the outdoor unit as the blower moves cooled air into your home and the heat is released outdoors.

The outdoor condenser unit is generally more compact than central AC units, but the indoor air blowers may seem more intrusive than the vents of most ducted systems. However, these are usually installed out of the way, mounted high on a wall or suspended from the ceiling. Besides, the benefits of ductless air conditioning may outweigh the stress of installing a ducted system:

  • Increased Comfort: With ductless air conditioning, you can control the temperature in each individual zone of the home. One outdoor unit can usually accommodate up to four indoor units, and homeowners can control each air handler with a master thermostat or separate thermostats installed in each zone. This can keep your family members happy since they can choose the temperature of any given room according to their inclinations.
  • Lower Energy Bills: The ability to control each zone can also save you money every month. If there is a room or area that is unoccupied in the afternoon, for example, you can turn off the AC in that room and leave it running elsewhere in the home, lowering your energy consumption.

Call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. to talk to a specialist about installing ductless air conditioning in Everett, WA.


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Is My Central Air Conditioner in Need of Repair Service?

Friday, July 18th, 2014

There are many advantages to using a central air conditioning system rather than small window units. One is that you can have a central air conditioner repaired when it starts to malfunction, while a broken window unit will have to be replaced. (It’s never cost-effective to attempt to repair a window unit.) Skilled AC repair technicians can quickly get to the source of any problem you may have with your central air conditioner and repair the problem promptly and correctly.

There are a number of signs to look for that will alert you that you need to call for air conditioning repairs. AC malfunctions are not always as obvious as a system that simply shuts down. If you pay attention to these following warnings, you can schedule repairs before the malfunction seriously jeopardizes your comfort.

For fast service from top-level AC professionals, contact G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc.

Ways to tell you need central air conditioning repair service

  • Short-cycling: The term “short-cycling” refers to a condition where your air conditioner’s compressor comes on for only a short time before shutting off again, and then repeats the process. This will result in a large waste of energy, but it’s also a signal that something has gone wrong in the system, such as reduced airflow or loss of refrigerant. It’s something that needs prompt attention.
  • Unusual noises: Modern air conditioners have sound dampers to make them run as quietly as possible, and the only regular noises you should hear will come from the fans and the motors. A loud and unexpected noise—such as grinding, screeching, and groaning—usually warns of a mechanical malfunction threatening operation. There are many possible reasons for these noises, so call in the professionals to track down the cause and fix it.
  • Ice developing on the coil: The indoor coil of your air conditioner should never have ice along it anywhere. Even though you expect to receive cooling from an AC, you shouldn’t expect it to create ice. When ice starts to form along the indoor coil, it could mean refrigerant loss, too much dirt inside the cabinet, or a clogged air filter. Whatever the reason, it needs to be fixed immediately.
  • Rising utility bills: An air conditioner can deliver the cooling you expect, but require excessive energy to do it because of a repair need. Keep a close watch on your electrical bills during the summer, and if you notice a sudden spike in costs for which you cannot account, the problem may stem from a malfunctioning AC. A skilled technician can look into the problem and identify the cause.

Since 1977, G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. has served Everett, WA with air conditioning repairs to keep homes cooled and families happy. The moment you think you need repairs for your central AC, give our team call.

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Air Conditioning System Upgrades to Consider

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Even if it’s not time to replace your air conditioner, you can improve performance, efficiency, and your comfort with an upgrade from an air conditioning technician. Installing a new thermostat or a zone control system is a great way to feel like you have a whole new air conditioner without actually replacing your system!


It may seem like all thermostats are the same, but could this basic component of your AC be holding you back? Your air conditioner relies on your thermostat to sense when to turn on and off. Manual thermostats are not as precise as some other models, which means you may use more energy trying to find just the right temperature than you would with a clearer display. Digital, programmable thermostats are easier to read and generally more accurate than manual thermostats. With programmable thermostats, you can also set the temperature to change at certain times of day, which can save you money.

Another more versatile thermostat upgrade is a wireless thermostat. While other thermostats must be positioned in areas with no direct sunlight and must physically connect to your AC, wireless thermostats do not connect to your system with a wire, so they can be located almost anywhere. You may even be able to use a remote control, so you won’t even have to stand up to make the room more comfortable.

Zone Control Systems

A zone control system allows you to choose the temperature of each room in your home separately. A technician installs dampers in the ductwork of your home that open and close as the temperature is adjusted in any given room or with a master thermostat that controls each zone. This can end up saving you a lot of money on your energy bills. If no one is occupying the upstairs rooms of your home, for example, you can turn off the air conditioner to the upstairs only. This can also make household members more comfortable since they can choose the temperature in each zone based on personal preferences.

At G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc., we offer these upgrades and more for air conditioning systems in Everett, WA. Call today!

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Is Ductless Air Conditioning Right for Me?

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Choosing a whole-home air conditioner is a big decision; after all, you’ll have this particular appliance for the long-term. Ductless air conditioning for your Everett home may offer benefits that other types of air conditioners may not. The best way to determine if a ductless air conditioner is right for you is to review how the system works, its benefits, and then to consult with a trained professional. With some input from our technicians, let’s take a look at how a ductless air conditioning system works.

How Does Ductless Air Conditioning Work?

A ductless air conditioner has two key parts: the outside unit, which contains the compressor and condenser, and the indoor blowers, which deliver the cold air. These parts are connected by a conduit placed in an exterior wall; typically, one outdoor unit can support up to 4 indoor blowers. The indoor blowers take place of any ductwork that a traditional split-system AC uses.

What Are the Benefits of a Ductless Air Conditioner?

There are several benefits to a ductless air conditioner that you may not see with other types:

  • No air loss due to ductwork – it is estimated that air conditioners can lose up to 30% of cool air due to faulty ductwork. With a ductless air conditioner, there’s no need to worry about this kind of air loss.
  • Automatic zone control – each blower can be programmed for both time and temperature. This gives you total control over how and when a particular space is cooled. Zone control can help a great deal with energy efficiency as well as individual comfort.
  • Easier installation – the indoor blowers connect to the outside unit by a 3” hole drilled through an exterior wall. This hole allows for a conduit to be placed that contains the refrigerant line, drain line and a power line. The blowers can be mounted to walls, hung from a ceiling or even set-up freestanding.
  • Very quiet – because the blowers are indoors, they are made to be especially quiet when running.
  • Safer than window units – window units require that a window be open for installation; a ductless system does not.

Still Have Questions?

An air conditioning system should fit you and your home as best as possible. Having the right fit means your new air conditioning system is the proper size and type for your home and family, and provides the comfort levels you need and want. If you still have questions about whether or not a ductless system is a good fit for your home, call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc., and schedule ductless air conditioning service in Everett today.

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Signs of Trouble with Your AC Fan Motor

Monday, July 7th, 2014

There are two motors in your air conditioning system in Everett, and either one could experience problems that can ultimately affect your whole system. It can sometimes be difficult to determine whether or not a problem is originating from your fan, but there are some signs that can indicate a fan issue is occurring. Many fan issues can be resolved fairly quickly, but ignoring an issue with either one of your fans can create bigger problems down the road.

So what can go wrong with your fans’ motors? Let’s take a look

  • Motor is malfunctioning – the fan motors are electric, and as such can overheat or suffer from burned out connections due to use or excessive current. If the motor can be fixed, it will be, but sometimes a motor may need to be replaced.
  • Wiring problems – wires in the motor, and throughout your AC system, can corrode, disconnect or fray with normal wear-and-tear. When this happens, electricity may not be delivered properly to the components, causing a slow-down or breakdown. The wiring in your fans’ motors can be intricate, so it’s best to leave any electrical work on your system to your air conditioning technician.
  • Bearing problems – the bearings in your fans’ motors need to be properly lubricated to keep working as they should; otherwise, they can grind and eventually come to a stop, causing the motor to malfunction or breakdown.
  • Issues with the run capacitors – run capacitors are devices that alter the current to your fans’ electric motors. A failed capacitor can cause your fans’ motors to slow down or overheat, potentially leading to malfunction.

Don’t ‘Fan’ the Problems – Call a Professional

Fan issues can be complex and involve several components, depending on the specific malfunction; this is why it’s important to use a trained professional when it comes to fan repairs to your air conditioning system in Everett. If you suspect you may have an issue with one of your system’s fans, or are experiencing other problems with your air conditioner, call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc., today.

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