G & S Heating Cooling & Electric Blog: Archive for the ‘Thermostat’ Category

A New Thermostat: Simple Upgrade, Big Benefits

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

Have you been eagerly looking forward to the start of the summer season? If so, you’re definitely not along. We haven’t even gotten into spring quite yet, but this time of the year really has a reputation to getting people to look ahead to warmer, more pleasant weather. Of course, it’s a lot easier to enjoy that warmer weather when you have a great AC ready for action.

If you were unhappy with the overall performance of your air conditioner last year, or if it’s broken down entirely, then a full replacement may be necessary. However, if you just want to make a simple upgrade that will help you to get more out of your existing equipment, you should seriously consider investing in a new thermostat in Snohomish, WA. It may sound like a minor change, but it can have a huge impact on the way in which you use your system.

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3 Signs of Trouble with Your Thermostat

Monday, August 24th, 2015

Many components in your HVAC system are largely hidden from view, such as the bulk of your ductwork. Others you simply have no cause to interact with directly, such as your compressor. However, there is one vital component of your HVAC system that you have some face to face time with most days, and which must not be underestimated; we are speaking, of course, of your thermostat. Your thermostat in Everett, WA, is one of the most important pieces of HVAC equipment that you have in your home, and it is surely the one that you directly interact with the most. That is why it is so important that your thermostat is kept in fine working condition. Contact G & S Heating Cooling & Electric if you suspect any problems with your thermostat.

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Should I Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat?

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

Of all the components in your HVAC system, the thermostat is far and away the one that you have the most direct interaction with. Because of this, it is advisable that you do your homework and choose a thermostat that suits your needs perfectly. For many, the ideal thermostat to use is a basic programmable model. Programmable thermostat have many benefits to offer homeowners, as we’ll detail a bit below. Just remember that you must enlist the service of an Everett, WA thermostat professional to install or replace your thermostat for you. You cannot afford to take any chances when it comes to the quality with which your thermostat operates, after all. Call G & S Heating Cooling & Electric to have the job done right.

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3 Factors That Can Negatively Influence Your Thermostat

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

For the most part, you are really going to have very little direct interaction with most of the components making up your HVAC system. If there is one major exception to this rule, of course, it is the thermostat in your home. You use your thermostat, or thermostats, if you have a ductless or zoned system, in order to regulate the operation of your entire HVAC system. Needless to say, you need to know with certainty that your thermostat is functioning precisely as it ought to. That is why you should schedule your thermostat services in North Seattle with the pros on our staff. Call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc., if you need a new thermostat, or require thermostat services of any sort.

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What Can a Smart Thermostat Do for My Home?

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Smart thermostats are all the rage in the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) industry today, as more and more homeowners switch over to a more efficient, “smarter” way of controlling their heating and AC systems. You might have seen smart thermostats advertised on TV, on the web, or in print recently, but you still may feel as though your existing thermostat works just fine and that a replacement would be costly. Thermostats may run into trouble over time, but you don’t have to wait for this to occur before purchasing a new unit. Smart thermostats can help make your family more comfortable, save you money and time, and give you peace of mind over the state of your system from day to day.

A smart thermostat is mounted on the wall just like any other thermostat, but it can also be controlled wirelessly—with your smart phone or tablet. Simply download an application (or view a website on any computer with internet access) and you can view the current conditions in the home and make some adjustments to the programming. Coming home late from your dentist appointment? Delay the heater for another hour to avoid paying for excessive energy usage. Bringing your kids home early from school? Tap into the system right before you pick them up so that the perfect temperatures are waiting for them upon arrival.

Smart thermostats reduce energy use by allowing you to see which times of day your unit consumes the most energy and learning to adjust to the most efficient temperature while you’re away and while you’re home. This is a great step in “going green” and using as few fossil fuels as possible without upgrading your system entirely. Furthermore a smart thermostat learns your patterns and preferences, usually within a week. Eventually, it will automatically adjust to the most efficient temperature while you’re away, after you’ve programmed it for several days. And don’t worry about changing the settings when you’re home early unexpectedly; a smart thermostat can usually differentiate between permanent changes in your habits and temporary adjustments for an unexpected occurrence.

We can install it in the most efficient location possible and make sure it is wired properly as we have years of experience setting up all kind of thermostats in Redmond and the surrounding areas.

Contact the professionals at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. today to install a new digital, wireless, or smart thermostat.

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How an Old Thermostat Contributes to Inefficiency

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Thermostats are an absolutely necessary part of home heating. They are the control centers, the brains of the whole operation. Without them, you would have to manually turn your heater on and off every time you wanted to adjust the temperature. That’s not to say that all thermostats are created equal, however. Let’s take a look at how older thermostats are constructed, and how they contribute to inefficiency.

Thermostat Construction

All thermostats have a couple of basic parts shared between them. There’s always a sensor and a control circuit, along with a dial or other kind user interface. Older thermostats were pretty crudely constructed. Instead of the more precise electronic sensors thermostats have today, they used heat sensitive coils or ampules filled with mercury. A lot of these older thermostats have now been replaced, but there are still a few homes where they are used. It is this older construction that contributes to heating system inefficiency.

Old Thermostat Issues

The main problem with older thermostats is that of accuracy. Older thermostats were largely mechanical in nature, which meant they were more prone to failure when one of those mechanical parts experienced issues. The heat sensitive coils used to monitor temperature acted as circuit switches. When the temperature got warm enough, the coil would expand until it touched a lead at either end of the chamber and closed the circuit, starting the air conditioner. When the temperature cooled enough, the coil would contract, breaking the circuit to shut down the air conditioner. The problem is that these coils had a “dead zone” where it’s not hot enough for them to expand, but still hotter than what the thermostat is set for.

Mercury ampules had similar problems. As the temperature fluctuated in the home, it would cause the mercury in the ampule to fluctuate as well. This would tip the ampule one way or another to start the heater or the air conditioner. The problem is that this ampule could actually get stuck inside the thermostat, rendering the entire thing unable to operate.

Older thermostats are inefficient because of the archaic way in which they operate.

If you want your heating or air conditioning system to work much better than it normally does, contact G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc.

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6 tips to Saving on HVAC Repairs in Kenmore

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Maintenance tips every homeowner should know

With summer fast approaching and the temperatures beginning to climb in Kenmore, there are a few things that homeowners should investigate that will save them money in costly air conditioner repairs.  Before you can investigate those elements though, you must have a basic understanding of the components in a residential HVAC system.  There are a few main components, and there are relatively few standardized locations for each one.

First you have your exterior unit sometimes referred to as the pump.  This piece is outside, and is usually made up of a few components that cycle the refrigerant and send it through the coils.

The next component is the air handler which circulates the air that needs to be cooled over some coils or a grid of tubing that has refrigerant cooling the tubes that transfers that chill to the air that is circulating.  This element is often in a utility area or garage or in an area above the garage, but always has a pan to catch excess condensation.  The condensation that accumulates in this pan also has a pipe that leads to the exterior of the house to allow the condensation to flow outside before it overflows into your living space.

The third element is the duct work, and this would also include the vents, the insulated tubes or ducts, the returns and the connective elements that hold it in place.

The final piece is the programable thermostat which is the control and monitoring component that manages the temperature and the length of the cycles that the unit will have to complete before shutting down.  I will give two (2) examples below of each component on how to maintain and save money on possible costly repairs in the future.

1)     The Exterior Unit –

  1. Always cut brush and shrubbery at least 12 inches away from the perimeter of the outside unit.  This will allow the unit ample area and air flow to keep from overheating.
  2. Always have the exterior unit protected from electrical surges or lightning.  As infrequent as it may be, lightning can be very dangerous to the circuit that allows the unit to run, and so you may want to ask about any surge protection or breakers that can be installed from your power company to prevent blown circuits.

2)     The Air Handler –

  1. Clear the drip pan overflow tube regularly.  You can place a suction end of a shop vac on the exterior end of the tube to draw any mold or mildew that has grown in that tube, and you can also ask your plumber or a/c tech to install a “T” in the pipe with a short section of tubing and a cap for the section.  It should be easily accessible and not interfere with the flow of the piping.  This tube should be used to keep the pipes clear by pouring a cap of bleach into that “T” to prevent further growth that would obstruct the flow.
  2. At least once per year have a trained professional technician service the coils in the handler to check for leaks and clean the coils.

3)     The Duct Work –

  1. Be sure once your system is running, go into the accessible crawlspace or ceiling areas where your ducts are running, and feel the length of the ducts and especially the seams for any cold air leaking out.  This is the sign of faulty seams that may have worked loosened or separated tape or sealant on those seams, and it may need to be repaired by an a/c tech.
  2. Clean your ducts at least annually.  This will lessen the likelihood of spreading or harboring mold, mildew or cold germs in the minute layer of grime that accumulates on the inside of your ducts.  It is also worth repeating here that you should be changing out your filters on your air return vents regularly – check on the labeling of the filter you choose because some can go as long as three months between replacements, but if you are not sure, plan to change the filters monthly.

4)     The Thermostat –

  1. If you still have a mercury-based thermostat, do everyone a favor and take it to a recycling facility that will properly dispose of the mercury and recycle what can be re-used.  Also, this is when you need to consider a programmable thermostat.  They allow you to plan to reduce or turn off the a/c when you are not at home or if you plan to be away for a while.  You do not have to suffer because of that choice because you can set it to turn prior to your arrival home, and cool the house to comfortable by the time you come in.
  2. Annually, have your thermostat calibrated.  You may be setting you’re a/c to a certain temperature, but you may not be aware that your thermostat is over-cooling to a new temperature, or under-cooling and thus never getting your house comfortable.  The calibration will allow you a little more control over your temperature and finances you need to pay for that temperature difference.

I hope these are helpful to you as a consumer, and most importantly give you a few techniques to prolong the life of your unit as well as save money on costly repairs that could have been avoided.  To be clear, the above recommendations are for a Heat Pump style unit, and you should verify this is what you have at your house prior to inquiring about some of the more permanent suggestions in this article.  If you have any questions about this blog please call G & S Heating, Cooling, & Electric

These home savings tips were sent by Joe Schembri with U Fill or We Fill, a Tampa dumpster rental company.

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Components of Air Conditioners in North Seattle

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Ever wondered how that amazing machine that keeps you cool in North Seattle all summer actually works? How exactly does that air conditioner use electricity to create cool air and dehumidify your home? It’s actually an ingenious bit of technology developed over a century ago using four major components and a thermostat.

How these parts are implemented may change depending on the type of air conditioner you have and how much space it’s tasked with cooling, but the following components are standard in all AC units:

  • Evaporator – There are two sides to an air conditioner – the warm side and the cool side. The Evaporator is on the cool side and is paired with a fan that blows air over the coils. The air then chills and blows into your home to keep you cool.
  • Condenser – The condenser is the device responsible with transferring heat within the air conditioner. An air conditioner doesn’t actually make anything cool – it just removes heat from one environment and places it into another. By removing heat from one set of coils and transferring it to another, it creates the cooling effect that the evaporator then uses to cool your home
  • Expansion Valve – The expansion valve is responsible for regulating how much refrigerant passes into the evaporator coils. This refrigerant immediately expands when it reaches the evaporator coil due to the pressure drop.
  • Compressor – Once the refrigerant has depressurized and turned back into a gas, it is passed to the compressor which is then tasked with converting it back into a liquid and passing it into the warm part of your air conditioner.

And of course, this entire mechanism is monitored and regulated by a thermostat which tells the air conditioner when to turn on and what level of cooling is needed by your home. The system can also be setup in one of a couple different ways. Self-contained units, like window units, house the entire mechanism in a single box, while a central air conditioner separates the two units – the hot side with the compressor and condenser are placed outside the house.

Because there are so many parts and they work in harmony to create the cool environment you want, your air conditioner needs to be carefully maintained. Regular maintenance is a must for every component.  To schedule a maintenance appointment please contact G & S Heating, Cooling, & Electric

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