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

The Importance of Heating Maintenance

Friday, September 26th, 2014

The heating season is here, and soon, your heating system will be running for large portions of the day and night. Because your system will get so much use, it’s important to make sure it is well-maintained so that everything continues to run as it should. And the best way to keep your system in the best shape possible is by scheduling annual heating maintenance. With heating maintenance, a technician will clean and inspect your system and let your know of any looming repair needs. And the benefits of this service are far more valuable than the small cost of maintenance. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons you should schedule maintenance today.

Some Benefits of Heating Maintenance

  • Reduce Repair Needs: Scheduling repairs is a hassle, especially when you don’t have any heat on a particularly cold day. That’s why you want to catch repair needs before they turn into larger problems. When damages are left alone, they may worsen over time, which means you may be dealing with a far more costly repair. When maintenance technicians catch any small problems, they may either make adjustments or let you know that repairs are needed.
  • Increase Efficiency: When there is dirt and debris in your furnace filter, heat pump coils, or anywhere along your heating system, efficiency may suffer. This is because your unit must run for longer periods of time in order to make up for deficiencies, which makes a huge impact on your utilities. Similarly, parts that are out of place or need repair may also drive up your bills, but with heating maintenance these parts are cleaned and adjusted for maximum efficiency.
  • Extend the Lifespan of Your System: The lifespan of your unit depends on a variety of factors including the type of system you own and how often it’s used. But regular maintenance may extend the lifespan of any heating system, and can give you a better idea of when it’s time to replace.

When you decide it’s the right time to schedule heating maintenance in Mill Creek, WA, call our team of trained heating specialists at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc.

Continue Reading

How Maintenance Prevents the Need for Heating Repair

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Scheduling heating maintenance every year can increase the efficiency of your heating system, so you’ll save money every month on your heating bills. But many homeowners choose to schedule maintenance for another reason: to avoid the dreaded repair call. While scheduling maintenance may take some time out of your day, it’s a far smaller task than repairing a broken unit. And maintenance greatly reduces your risk of a failed heating system on a cold night. Here are some of the problems that may be caught during a maintenance visit, preventing the need for heating repair.

Excess of Dirt and Debris

If there is too much dirt or debris in your heating system, it may cause repair needs later on. This could include dirt along the coils of a heat pump that reduces its effectiveness or a buildup of soot in a furnace that could lead to corrosion. During maintenance, a technician will clean any part of your system that could suffer as a result of dirt and residue, and lets you know how to care for your system throughout the heating season.

Clogged Filter

The filter of your ducted air system keeps pollutants out of your home, but it may become clogged in a short period of time, especially if you run your heating system throughout the day and night. Your furnace or heat pump each needs a certain amount of airflow in order to effectively and efficiently heat your home. Without the proper amount of airflow, you may not be comfortable in your home, and other components of your heating system will have to work harder to keep up. This can lead to both high energy bills and major damages. A technician can tell you if your filter is affecting your AC, and whether you need to change it more often than once every month.

Electrical Problems

If you have an electric furnace or heat pump, electrical problems are a concern for the well-being of your unit. With heating maintenance, a technician tightens connections and checks the voltage of your unit to ensure your heating system does not stop running suddenly.

Whether you need to schedule an annual maintenance visit or heating repair in Everett, WA, call the folks at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. today!

Continue Reading

What to Do in Case of an Electrical Emergency

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

An electrical emergency can cover a number of different situations. If the emergency is someone suffering from a severe electrical shock, you need to call 9-1-1 immediately for an ambulance. In this post we will deal with other types of electrical emergencies you may encounter in your home, such as sparking and power outages.

One piece of advice should stand atop everything else: call for the assistance of professional electricians when it comes to emergency repairs. You should never tamper with an electrical system on your own in an attempt to fix a problem, no matter how urgent it seems. The danger of electrocution or fire is high, and you cannot take the risk.

For fast service no matter the emergency, call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. We will send a licensed electrician to your home to take care of the problem and keep you and your household safe.

In case of an electrical fire…

Electrical fires are one of the more common ways that house fires start. If exposed wires, an electrical short, or a malfunctioning appliance triggers a fire, do not throw water on the flames. If an appliance is on fire, disconnect it from its power source if possible or shut down the power. Use a fire extinguisher if you have one. (If you don’t currently have an extinguisher in the house, put it on your immediate “to-do” list.) Call 9-1-1 if the fire continues. You will need to call electricians after the immediate danger is over to track down the cause of the fire and discover what repairs and new installations are necessary to prevent it from reoccurring.

In case of a power loss…

A power outage may come from the municipal grid, or it may be the result of issues with the electrical system in your home. If only your home is experiencing a black out, first check the circuit breaker panel to see if any tripped breakers are at fault. Then call for licensed electricians to look into the possible causes.

In case of power surges…

A power surge from a lightning strike or downed power line can cause damage to appliances, take out the power, or trigger an electrical fire. If this occurs in your home, you should consider contracting professional electricians to install a whole-house surge protector in the electrical panel so you will have few worries in the future.

Always remember, call emergency services first in the case of imminent danger such as fires or electricity. Once the immediate threat has ended, look to licensed electricians for repairs and other services that will prevent further problems and keep your home safe.

G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. is available for electrical repairs in Everett, WA. Call us today if you are experiencing troubles with your electrical system, and we will help prevent it from turning into an emergency.

Continue Reading

Are Ductless AC Repairs Different from Central AC Repairs?

Friday, September 19th, 2014

If you’re considering ductless air conditioning installation, you may have some concerns about the future of your air conditioner. Ductless AC is one of the most efficient ways to cool your home, but you may wonder what type of repair work goes along with this unique type of cooling system. How do ductless repairs differ from central AC repairs? Here at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc., we’ve handled repairs for all types of AC systems, so we’ve put together this guide to a couple of differences that go along with ductless air conditioning installation.

Central AC vs. Ductless AC

Ductless air conditioners rely on the same refrigeration cycle to cool your home as do central air conditioners. Refrigerant cycles in the indoor and outdoor portions to remove heat from the air in your home. The only main differences are how the indoor units are installed and how air is distributed to the home. Let’s take a look at some of the differences between the two units.

  • A ductless air conditioner can cool your entire home without the use of ductwork.
  • Central air conditioners have an outdoor unit and an indoor evaporator unit. A ductless system instead has an outdoor unit and multiple indoor blowers mounted high on the wall or suspended from the ceiling.
  • Another key difference between the two systems is that a ductless unit has built-in zone control. With central AC, you’d have to pay extra to install zone control in the ductwork. With ductless units, each blower has its own thermostat, so you can adjust the temperature differently in individual zones of the home.

Repair Needs with Both

Overall, these differences are relatively minor. The outdoor unit still contains the same components (compressor, condenser, fan), as do the indoor blowers, so any problems with major parts will be similar in both types of air conditioner. With a ductless AC, however, you won’t have to deal with problems associated with faulty ductwork. Problems that are unique to ductless air conditioners may include installation problems with the indoor blowers and wiring issues with the master thermostat that you may use to control all the units at once.

Are you considering ductless air conditioning installation in Lynnwood? Do you have more questions about going ductless before you make any final decisions? Call the friendly experts at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. today.

Continue Reading

How to Get Your HVAC System Ready for Colder Weather

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

It can be difficult to let go of the warm summer weather and look toward the chillier seasons. But the sooner you prepare for the arrival of colder weather, the more secure you’ll feel—and the less likely that an unexpected repair need will catch you by surprise.

To get your HVAC system ready for winter, you can take a few simple steps to see that the heater is in good condition. Some of the steps you can do on your own, others will require that you contact professionals in heating services in Shoreline, WA and other parts of the Puget Sound Area. For high-quality assistance with your HVAC system, depend on G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. We’ve taken care of homes through the winter for more than three and a half decades now.

Some Ways to Prepare Your HVAC Systems

  • Change or clean the air filter: If you have a forced-air heating system such as a furnace or a heat pump, you need to make sure that it has a clean air filter before the heavy work begins for the cold weather. If you have a temporary air filter, take out the current one and replace it. If you use a permanent filter, remove it and wash it off with a hose (making sure you use a gentle water current and direct the water from the back through the filter, so as not to stretch out the fibers). Starting off the winter with a clogged filter can lead to immediate airflow issues and poor performance. Keep changing or cleaning the filter throughout the heating season.
  • Give the heater a test run: Pick a warm day during the fall—a time when you won’t need a working heating system—and turn the heater on for an hour. Listen to its operation. Keep an ear open for any strange sounds that might indicate wear and tear or a repair need. Check on the air vents to see if the airflow is strong. For a radiator, feel that the baseboard heaters are heating up. If anything seems amiss with the way the heater is running, you’ll have sufficient warning about it and can call in repair technicians to fix the problem.
  • Schedule annual pre-season tune-up: This is the most important step of all. You must make use of the knowledge and tools of a professional technician to inspect and tune-up the heating system. During an annual pre-season maintenance visit, an HVAC professional will check for any possible repair issues that might grow worse, take care of adjusting components, and clean and fine-tune the unit so that it works its best.

It’s easy to get started with maintenance: call our team at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. We offer a pre-paid maintenance program that not only delivers your HVAC system that help it need preparing for winter, but also gives you a 10% discount on parts and labor for all parts and repairs and priority service. Make us your first call for all your needs for heating in Shoreline, WA.

Continue Reading

How Long You Can Expect a Geothermal Installation to Take

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

With all the digging involved with geothermal systems, you may think that it takes weeks to install one. But appearances can be deceiving, and that is certainly the case with the installation of a geothermal system. Geothermal installation happens in three stages, with the planning stage lasting the longest. The most important aspect of any geothermal installation is to hire knowledgeable professionals to get the job done, which is where G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc., comes in.

Stages of Geothermal Installation

There are three main stages of geothermal installation:

  • Stage 1: Planning
  • Stage 2: Installation of indoor heat pump
  • Stage 3: Installation of ground loops

Stage 1: Planning

Time needed: about 1 week

During the planning stage, specialists will survey your property to assess space; they will also determine if you have the proper soil conditions needed for installation. Once these factors are found to be acceptable, your specialists will determine which type of geothermal system will work best for your home: closed loop system, open loop system, vertical placement or horizontal placement.

Stage 2: Installation of indoor heat pump

Time needed: less than a day

Every geothermal system uses a heat pump to transfer heat. The geothermal heat pump is connected to the existing ductwork in your home.

Stage 3: Installation of ground loops

Time needed: 2-3 days

First, an above-ground pump and manifold are installed. The ground loops are installed according to their configuration and follow along wooden frames; then they are connected together. Trenches are dug for the loops, and the loops are attached to the manifold. The loops are tested for several hours to ensure there are no leaks, and once this is confirmed, the loops are covered and your landscaping returned to normal. The system can now be activated.

Geothermal systems can be wonderful for energy efficiency and comfort, and the loops systems can last up to 50 years (heat pumps last about 25 years). To find out if a geothermal installation is for you, call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc., today and schedule your geothermal installation in Mill Creek with one of our experts.

Continue Reading

Are Sparking Outlets a Signs for Electrical Repair?

Monday, September 8th, 2014

In general, you don’t want anything in your home’s electrical system to create sparks. It’s usually a major warning sign that the system requires repairs. You should immediately stop using the sparking appliance and call for professional electricians.

However, sparks from outlets are something that homeowners often ignore. Its commonplace for a slight blue spark to appear when you plug an electrical appliance, like a vacuum cleaner or a toaster into a wall outlet: this is a visible effect from the start of the flow of electrons. However, larger sparks might begin to occur. When this happens, you need to call for professional electrical repairs as soon as possible. Under no circumstances should you attempt to open up the outlet cover and investigate the sparking on your own—this is potentially very hazardous.

For professional electrical repair service in Lynnwood, WA, you can trust to the decades of experience at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc.

What Is Wrong With An Outlet That Sparks This Way?

There are a number of possible causes for an outlet to develop the dangerous sparking that might lead to electrical fires. One of the common reasons is that the outlet has overheated and melted the insulation around the wires. (This is why you should never use an octopus plug to connect too many appliances into a single outlet at the same time; it’s easy for the outlet to overheat.) When the wires are exposed because of melted insulation, it can cause electrons to leap from the wire to the metal case or even the opposite wire. This is known as a short circuit. Short circuits are potentially very dangerous as sources of electrical fires. Most of the time, a short will cause the circuit breaker panel to trip and cut off the circuit to prevent further damage. Frequently tripped breakers are a major warning sign that your have trouble with an outlet.

However, if there are other problems with the wiring your home, a short circuit in an outlet could start a fire behind the walls. If you ignore major sparking from an outlet, this is one of the risks that you’ll take.

Fortunately, professional electricians are experienced with fixing and replacing faulty outlets to prevent the dangers of short circuits. You should watch out not only for sparking from outlets, but also outlets that feel hot to the touch or show signs of discoloration and charring on their surface. An outlet that continually trips circuit breakers also needs an electrician to investigate it.

Our electrical repair team at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. is ready to help you keep your home safe from faulty electrical systems. Call us the moment you think you need help.

Continue Reading

Are There Any Air Conditioning Repairs I Can Do Myself?

Friday, September 5th, 2014

The Internet has helped spread the “do-it-yourself” ethic wider than ever. You can type in almost any household chore or activity and find a guide to how you can take care of it on your own with a few easy-to-find tools and a couple of tricks. Some of these DIY guides are good ideas. Some are not.

One area of home repair that you definitely do not want handled as an amateur project is the air conditioner. Modern air conditioners are intricate devices that require years of training in order to effectively service. If you experience trouble with the performance of your AC, don’t try to open either the indoor or outdoor cabinet and troubleshoot the issue on your own. Numerous different causes could lay behind your air conditioner’s malfunctions, and even if you could diagnose the correct one, you wouldn’t have the tools or the training necessary to do anything about it.

It’s simple to get the help you need for air conditioning service in North Seattle, WA: call a team with a few decades of experience, G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc.

Some Steps You Can Take With a Malfunctioning AC

Although you can’t perform major repairs for your air conditioner, there are some steps you can take to see if your AC is suffering from a simple problem. You should always check on the thermostat when you first notice that something is wrong with the air conditioner. Sometimes, an incorrect setting is responsible for the way the AC is acting. Test the controls to see if the system responds the way you want it to. If it doesn’t, then you’ll know to call for repairs.

If the air conditioner shuts down entirely, one of the first things you should do is check your circuit breaker panel. The air conditioner might have tripped it because of a power surge. Reset the circuit and attempt to turn the air conditioner on again. If it causes another tripped circuit breaker, then something is wrong with the electrical system and you will need professionals to handle the repair work.

Always make regular checks on the air filter for the AC. If you notice a loss of airflow from the system, look to see if the filter is clogged. If it is, change it for a fresh one, or clean the filter if it is a permanent one. If doing this doesn’t restore the operation of the air conditioner, then contact repair technicians to see what may be wrong.

If these basic checks and tests don’t work, refrain from trying to do more. Call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. and let our experienced staff take care of the air conditioning service in North Seattle, WA you need to restore your cool air.

Continue Reading

What are the Components of a Ductless AC?

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Many homeowners without ducts try alternative cooling options like window air conditioners to keep rooms cool. But the cooling capacity of these units is generally low, meaning they cannot always effectively cool an entire room. Plus, these units are often noisy and cost a lot of money to run, particularly if you want to cool down several rooms at once.

Ductless air conditioning is the perfect solution for homes that don’t have any ductwork set up in the home already. While it may be possible for you to add ductwork to your older home or new room extension, this is a big job that may be quite the hassle. Installing ductwork is an extensive process that involves major home renovations, while the only renovation an AC technician makes to install a ductless system is a small hole drilled into the wall for the refrigerant line.

Just like any conventional air conditioner, a ductless air conditioner contains indoor and outdoor components that work together to cool the home. Refrigerant moves through the system, absorbing heat from your home and releasing it outdoors. Outside, the condenser unit contains the compressor, the condenser coil, and a large outdoor fan. First, refrigerant reaches the compressor as a low-pressure gas and is compressed into a gas at extremely high pressure and heat. Next, refrigerant moves to the condenser coil. As the outdoor fan blows over the coil, refrigerant condenses into a liquid, and the fan helps heat to dissipate into the air.

The indoor portion of a ductless AC, however, differs from the indoor portion of most central air conditioners. An air handler is mounted high on the wall or on the ceiling. Here, the evaporator converts refrigerant into a gas, and it absorbs heat from the air as a blower fan moves warm air over the coil. Rather than use the ducts to distribute the cool air, the fan blows air directly from the handler. While you may need several air handlers to cool an entire home, each unit has its own thermostat, so you can control the temperature in one room independently of the others.

Because ductless air conditioning systems are also very energy efficient, they may be the perfect solution for many homes. If you want more information about ductless air conditioning in Lynnwood, call the dependable experts at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. today!

Continue Reading