G & S Heating Cooling & Electric Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Kenmore’

Do Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems Require Maintenance?

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

When it comes to efficiency and reliability when heating and cooling a home in a very convenient manner, geothermal heating and cooling systems are pretty tough to beat. Such systems utilize heat pump technology in order to remove heat from a home during the summer months, dumping it into the ground, while using heat in the earth on the property in order to heat it during the winter. In addition to the efficiency and convenience that comes with heating and cooling a home with one such system, though, is the great reliability that geothermal heat pumps have to offer. If you really want to get the most dependable performance that your system has to offer, of course, G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. is here to tell you that geothermal maintenance in Kenmore is a must.

In some ways, a geothermal heating and cooling system is one of the most reliable available. A major component of this, the geothermal loop, is nevertheless quite a simple component. It is buried on your property, and that is all you really need to worry about. There aren’t moving parts or electronic controls down there to worry about. However, this geothermal loop system is only a part of a whole. A geothermal heat pump is also used in order to facilitate the transfer of heat from the ground to your home and back again. Along with the ductwork, thermostat controls, and other components above ground, the geothermal heat pump is going to require regular maintenance in order to function reliably, and at peak efficiency and performance levels.

A number of important assessments are made during a geothermal maintenance service. First of all, refrigerant levels will be checked to ensure the proper charge. Refrigerant is constantly recycled, not used up as a fuel is, so there should be no fluctuation in the amount within your system. Electrical components will be tested and cleaned, system pressure measured, and more. In short, geothermal maintenance gives a trained professional the opportunity to look over your system as a whole, clean it and tune it up as needed, and to diagnose minor and developing problems before they can cause any real headaches.

Just make sure that you schedule this vital service with a trained professional that you can trust. To do so, just call upon the technicians here at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc.

In terms of keeping your geothermal heating and cooling system in great working order, nothing can contend with routine geothermal maintenance in Kenmore.


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What Does a Geothermal Installation Entail?

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Geothermal heating has been getting a lot of attention lately, due to the benefits that it offers as a home heating system. Geothermal heating is energy efficient, safe, and doesn’t run into some of the disadvantages that other heat pump systems have to deal with. Before you rush out to purchase a geothermal system, however, there are a few factors that you need to consider. Let’s take a look at the steps involved with installing a geothermal system, and how it affects the way that the heater operates.

The Trench

Geothermal heating systems work by utilizing the thermal energy present approximately 10-15 feet underground. They are heat pumps, moving heat from one location to another instead of creating it through combustion. This thermal energy is fairly constant, as the subterranean temperature at that depth remains around 50-60 degrees. This is an important difference between geothermal systems and other heat pumps, which we’ll discuss later on.

The geothermal heating system accesses this thermal energy through a wide pipe loop, which is installed in a trench outside the house. This is normally done in a back or front yard, where there is lots of undeveloped space. The loop is usually horizontal, but can also be installed vertically if the space requires it. The loop is then filled with water or refrigerant, and connected to the central unit.

The Central Unit

The central geothermal unit is similar in construction to other heat pumps, with incoming and outgoing connections to the pipe loop and an air handler to distribute heat through the ducts. During operation, the heat pump circulates refrigerant out of the loop and into the unit, where it extracts the thermal energy before returning the refrigerant to the loop. This grants the heat pump an endlessly renewable heat source. This is the single greatest advantage that geothermal heat pumps have over other heat pumps. Most heat pumps take heat from the surrounding air, which loses most of its thermal energy when the temperature drops to extremely cold levels. Geothermal heating always has access to a pool of renewable thermal energy, while air source heat pumps do not.

If you’d like to know more about geothermal heating services, call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. We provide geothermal services throughout the Kenmore area.


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How Insulation Improves Efficiency throughout the Year

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

What do you know about the insulation in your home? Many homeowners purchase a home and assume that there is already enough insulation to get by. Insulation is often added with new construction, so most homeowners assume that the existing materials would be adequate. However, it’s possible that your insulation was not installed by a professional technician, and a lack in certain areas may contribute to quite a bit of inefficiency with your heating and air conditioning system. In this guide, learn what makes it so important year-round in Kenmore and why you may want a professional to add or replace the insulation in certain areas of the home.

Insulation Is Vital in Cool Weather

Most people automatically associate insulation with cooler weather because it’s an important factor in keeping the heat indoors. Heat naturally rises, so when you run your heating system, it tends to collect at the top of a room. If you don’t have enough insulation in the attic, or if you don’t have any at all, heat can easily escape through the ceiling, meaning it takes longer for your house to heat up and for your family to be comfortable.

But It’s Just as Important in the Summer

Insulation acts as a barrier through which it is difficult for heat to pass. Heat moves naturally into cooler areas, so in warmer weather, heat may infiltrate your home because the drywall is not enough to keep it out. Even though your AC is working hard to move heat out of the home, it can reenter through poorly insulated walls and from uninsulated ductwork.

Choose Insulation with a High R-Value

The best way to get the most out of your insulation upon installation is to check the R-value, a measure of a material’s effectiveness. Your technician will also make sure you get the right amount of insulation. While you generally want to fill a space completely, too much insulation in a small space may end up fruitless. The best contractors will make sure you are covered in all areas of the home, including the ducts if necessary.

Call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. to schedule an energy audit and discover whether your home suffers from insufficient insulation in Kenmore.

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Seattle Geothermal Installation Guide: What You Need To Think About Before Getting Geothermal

Monday, September 17th, 2012

With energy costs rising and supplies dwindling, people are taking much more serious looks at alternatives that in the past have seemed unfeasible and too “weird” to realistically contemplate.  Available since the formation of the Earth, geothermal heating and cooling is one such resource.

Geothermal energy is being used to provide more than 30% of Iceland’s electrical needs and it is fast becoming a viable option to provide heat for your home as well.  Before digging straight down, however, it is important to look around and consider some important points.

Geothermal 101

Thermal energy is a force that is produced from the movement of warm temperature to cooler.  The term “geo” is from the Greek word for Earth.  From harnessing the energy of hot springs in ancient times to technological advances to create electricity today, geothermal has long been considered, but often was ruled out as an expensive and unnecessary alternative to other cheaper forms of energy.  Now that those are harming the environment, more expensive and harder to get, geothermal has grown attractive.

Location, Location, Location

Difficult to retrieve from deep within the Earth, geothermal is most often considered for large production where natural breaks in the crust such as volcanoes, hot springs and faults are close to the surface.  Just ten feet below the surface, however, there is enough temperature difference to make available enough to efficiently heat a home.

Still, it’s not a guarantee of success, however.  The density of the bedrock, the water table and the balance between extreme hot and cold temperatures with the temperatures of the thermal energy are all factors to be considered.

Dollar for Dollar

For new construction, geothermal is a great alternative because after the more expensive installation, the cost from month to month can produce enough savings to quickly pay for the system.  The savings are potentially so significant, there are situations where the cost of replacing an old inefficient conventional system can be neutralized by the savings in just two to ten years.

To learn more about the benefits of installing a geothermal system in Seattle, give G & S a call!

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What You Need to Know About Solar Hot Water Heaters in Kenmore

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Solar hot water heaters in Kenmore are virtually an unknown appliance.  The majority of people who know about solar panles are only aware of the photovoltaic panels which are wired into a household to supply electrical assistance to homes. These photovoltaic   solar panels are terrific for collecting electrical assistance, but they are not the only way households can take advantage of the free energy source, the sun. Solar water heaters are much simpler systems that cost less money than typical solar panels, and they can save you a significant amount of money on your electricity bills.

How Solar Hot Water Heaters Work

Solar hot water heater come in a few different sizes and shapes, but their overall functionality are generally the same. Solar collectors are placed on the roof of your home, hopefully facing south. Those collectors collect and amplify the energy of the sun and use it to heat water or coolant that is circulated through tubes or pipes in the collector. In a direct system, the water is then piped directly to your fixtures for use.

In the more common indirect system, coolant is piped back to a tank where water is heated through copper pipes and held for use later.

Advantages of Solar Hot Water Heating

The obvious advantage is cost. Because the system is almost entirely passive, you don’t pay for any electricity, and maintenance is minimal. The only real cost of a solar hot water system (after installation) is a once-every-two-years maintenance visit and a backup water heating supply for days when there is less sunlight.

Additionally, solar hot water heaters can be piped into a radiant heating system and used to supplement your boiler. The hot water generated by the solar collectors can be used in baseboard heaters, radiators, and even under-floor heating systems. While a much larger, more powerful system is needed to replace your entire heating system, the supplement can save you a lot of money in the summer and spring months.

Solar water heating is a very effective and affordable way to start using solar power immediately in your life. If you are considering installing some form of solar power, call G & S Heating, Cooling, & Electric.

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Up to $3200 Off a New Heat Pump System

Friday, April 13th, 2012

The greater Puget Sound area Heating, Cooling, and Electric specialists at G&S Heating are now offering up to $3200 Off your purchase of a New Heat Pump System.

G & S Heating, Cooling & Electric has all of the latest heat pump models available, and we are always happy to answer any questions you may have about them. We aim to carry only the highest quality heat pumps as well, so you can be sure that if you buy a heat pump from us, you are getting a product that will serve you well for many years. Whether you are sure that a heat pump is what you are looking for or you are still exploring your options, we always welcome your questions and patronage.

Give our Comfort Consultants a call or request an estimate online today!

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How Long Does it Take to Install Geothermal Heating in Lynnwood?

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Switching to geothermal heating in Lynnwood is a big step and can be a sound investment, but many homeowners are nervous about having their yard dug up. Just how long do you have to have your life and yard disrupted for a geothermal installation? It depends on the type of installation, but probably not as long as you think.

Horizontal Straight Loop

This is probably the most common type of geothermal configuration for residential homes. The necessary coolant pipes are buried about five feet below the ground in parallel lengths, like matches in a box. Depending on weather and soil conditions, this kind of installation can usually be completed in a day or two.

Horizontal Coiled Loop

This configuration is very similar to the horizontal straight loop, with the major difference being that the pipes are in coils instead of just straight lengths. This allows more surface area in a smaller space, which can be good for homes with small yards.

This type of installation requires some more digging because of the height of the loops, but again can still be done in just a couple of days.

Vertical Loop

In this configuration, the coolant pipes are installed side by side, but they run vertically straight into the ground instead of laying flat as in the horizontal straight loop. This type of installation is usually used only in commercial settings where space is at a premium, making horizontal configurations impossible.

The complexity and added labor of the vertical loop often makes it prohibitively expensive for home applications, and also means it takes longer to install. Count on this taking up to four days.

Pond Loop

This configuration is the easiest, cheapest and quickest, but can only be used on sites where there is a suitable body of water nearby. Rather than digging trenches and laying pipes into them, coils are floated on top of a pond and then sunk to the bottom, taking advantage of the existing geothermal energy of the pond itself.

A pond loop installation can be done in as little as one day, provided conditions are adequate.

For more clarification please call G & S Heating, Cooling, & Electric.

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Edmonds HVAC Safety Tip: Clothes Dryer Ventilation

Monday, January 9th, 2012

It’s important to maintain the ventilation system in your Edmonds home for many reasons. Increasing the efficiency of your HVAC system and lowering your utility bills are a few of them, but safety is the best reason to keep your vents clean, particularly your clothes dryer vent.

Clothes dryers are one of the leading causes of house fires each year. Poorly maintained venting systems and improper installation are usually the cause. Protect your home with these maintenance and safety tips.

Even if you clean out the lint trap after each use, lint can still get trapped in the exhaust vent and cause a fire hazard or a potential carbon monoxide leak with gas dryers. Maintaining proper ventilation for a clothes dryer includes cleaning out the exhaust duct and hose. To do this, you just need to unplug your dryer and detach the hose, which can be removed with common household tools. If you already do this regularly and find an abnormal amount of lint and debris, call an HVAC technician to inspect it. There could be something in the duct system blocking the ventilation for your dryer.

At least once a year, you should also have a qualified technician inspect and clean your exhaust duct and make sure you have the proper style hose. If you have a foil or vinyl hose, you should replace it with a flexible metal one that is fireproof. You might want to consider installing a dryer box, which protects the flexible hose and saves space.

Dryers that aren’t properly installed or put in areas that could create hazards are often found in older homes; however, some newer homes are built with designs that create longer ventilation paths and more potential for debris to get trapped inside the ducts.

Don’t wait until a hidden safety issue turns into a fire or carbon monoxide hazard in your Edmonds home. Inspect and clean your exhaust hose and duct today!

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Kenmore HVAC Tip: Improving the Energy Efficiency of Existing Windows

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

There is a lot to be gained by purchasing energy efficient windows for your Kenmore home. They can help keep your temperature regulated air in and prevent outside forces from causing your HVAC system to work harder to keep your home comfortable. In some cases, it may make a lot of sense to replace your existing windows with newer, more energy efficient ones, but that is not always a viable option.

So what can you do instead? There are actually quite a few steps you can take to improve the energy efficiency of the windows you already have. For starters, it is a good idea to make sure that all of your windows also have storm windows in place. Storm windows are not necessarily the best, most insulating things you can buy, but they do provide an important extra barrier against air moving between the indoors and the outdoors.

And not all storm windows are created equal. You can certainly opt for the cheapest kind out there, or you can pay a bit more for a product that actually offers a bit more protection against the elements. You will also have to decide whether you want to go for the type of storm windows that are installed on the outside of your existing windows or on the inside. In general, the indoor windows are the best choice, particularly for windows above the ground floor because they are easy to put in and take out and they provide a better seal against the outdoors.

That is not the only thing you can do to improve the energy efficiency of your existing windows, however. Another important step to take is adding weather-stripping around the windows and caulking any areas where air could come through. Even the smallest cracks can cause large losses of heated air in the winter and cooled air in the summer, so making sure there is a good seal all around should be a top priority.

Another option worth considering is the application of one or more different window treatments. There are high-reflectivity films you can put on your windows that will help bounce the sun’s heat away from your home. You can also opt for more traditional sun blockers like awnings and blinds. A well insulated house with energy efficient windows will make your heating system more effective and save you money in the long run.

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Is My Home as Comfortable as It Could Be? A Question from Startup

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

When it comes to your Startup home’s indoor comfort, there are a surprising number of things you need to take into account. Of course, you need to have a good heating and cooling system in place so that you can easily maintain a comfortable indoor temperature all year round. But that really isn’t enough when you’re trying to create the optimal indoor environment. So what else do you need to consider?

Humidity 101

Well, for starters, it’s a good idea to check the humidity levels in your home. Improper humidity can lead to all sorts of problems, and it can also make it harder for your home heating and cooling systems to maintain a comfortable temperature. Air that’s too dry doesn’t hold heat as well as properly humidified air, so in the winter, your heating system will have to work harder to keep your family comfortable. Too little humidity can also dry out your skin and cause the symptoms of colds, allergies and asthma to last longer and be more severe.

On the other hand, if there is too much humidity in your home, you’re more likely to develop problems with mold and dust mites. And your home cooling system will have a harder time keeping you comfortable indoors. Luckily, there are plenty of great humidification and dehumidification systems on the market right now that can take care of all of these types of problems for you, and they’re definitely worth looking into if you’re concerned about the overall comfort level in your home.

Indoor Air Quality

Along these same lines, you should take the time to have your indoor air quality checked by a professional. Indoor air pollutants are a growing problem, particularly in newer homes that are sealed up tight against the elements. These seals prevent all of your temperature conditioned air from escaping and make your home more energy efficient, but they also lead to inadequate ventilation and a buildup of things like gasses, dust mites, bacteria, mold spores and pet dander in your indoor air.

These are obviously not the types of things you want to breathe on a regular basis, so it’s a good idea to invest in ventilation and an indoor air quality system that can bring in a steady supply of fresh air from outside and remove any harmful contaminants from the air circulating through your home.

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