Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Ground Source Heat Pumps vs. Traditional Air Conditioning

Monday, April 25th, 2016

When most people think about heat pumps, they think about their heating capabilities in the wintertime. And yes it’s true, ground source heat pumps are a revolutionary and very reliable source of heating. However, in the summer, these systems have the capability of pulling heat from your home’s air and depositing it into the ground outside in order to provide you with adequate cooling, making ground source heat pumps an excellent alternative to a traditional central air conditioning system. (more…)

Lupercalia: The Origin of St. Valentine’s Day

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

Many people may think of Valentine’s Day as a holiday essentially created by card and gift companies, but the truth is that the holiday has long-standing roots going back to the Roman Empire. The name “Lupercalia” has its origins in the word “lupus”, which means wolf, and the reason for this is that according to Roman pagan religion, the she-wolf Lupa nursed the two orphaned infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome.

 

The Festival

The Festival of Lupercalia spanned two days each February, from February 13th to 15th. The festival was about fertility and was led by Luperci priests, known as “brothers of the wolf”. The festival was serious with intention (fertility) but was executed as quite a romp for both the priests and citizens of Rome. The process was this: two male goats and a dog were sacrificed at the beginning of the festival by the priests; two young Luperci were then anointed with the blood from the animals, and the hides of the animals were cut into straps. As food and drink flowed, the male priests would run around the city wearing nothing but thongs made from the animal skins, and they also carried a strap from one of the sacrificed animals. The strap was used to strike the palms of Roman women waiting for the priests in the city, as it was believed that being hit with the strap could help with infertility issues and a safe, healthy labor for women who were pregnant.

 

The Transition to St. Valentine’s Day

The Christian influence of the holiday came around the 5th century. The Roman Empire was still strong, but Christianity was rapidly taking hold throughout the world. It is believed that to try and remove the paganism from the holiday, the deaths of two men, supposedly both named Valentine, were added into the mix. During the 3rd and 4th centuries, a law created by Claudius II forbade young men eligible for military service to marry, because Rome wanted a strong army. The two men named Valentine were priests, and married young couples in secret. Both were found out and executed on February 14th, although in separate years. The Church made Valentine a saint (they chose one), and Lupercalia became St. Valentine’s Day.

 

Here’s wishing you and your loved one a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Consider a Solar Water Heater for Your Next Water Heater Installation

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Although we have access to an enormous amount of natural energy from the sunlight, few people seem to take advantage of the benefits of solar energy. And while choosing to switch your entire home to solar energy may be a big step, you can make some minor changes toward a more efficient home right now. Consider switching to a solar water heater for your new water heater installation. These units are extremely efficient and can be just as effective as your current heater. The two major types of solar water heaters, active and passive, are described below.

Active

The main difference between an active and passive solar water heater is that an active system has controls and pumps while a passive system does not. An active solar water heater may rely on two different types of circulation, direct or indirect. Direct circulation systems pump water through the solar collector, and solar radiation heats the water. Water flows back into the storage tank with a backup heater attached and into a pipe to reach your home. Indirect circulation systems pump refrigerant into the solar collector, which absorbs heat. As the refrigerant flows through a heat exchanger in the tank, the water is heated.

Passive

A passive circulation system does not rely on any pumps. Instead, water flows into the solar collector where it gets preheated. The water then moves into the storage tank, where an additional gas or electric heating element helps it reach the proper temperature. While this type of system may still need to use some energy, it will use significantly less as water is already hot before reaching the tank.

What Are The Benefits Of Going Solar?

Choosing a solar water heater is one of the most efficient ways to heat water in your home, and it may reduce your hot water bills by up to one half. Solar water heaters are also very effective and may have long lifespans with proper maintenance.

You should let a professional technician help you choose which type of water heater is right for your home. If you need a new water heater in Tacoma, call the water heater experts at Sound Heating today!

We Wish You a Happy Labor Day

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

On every project that we complete, we ensure that our customers are satisfied. We take pride in the work that we do every day, and this level of diligence and attention to detail has allowed us to grow over the years. On the first Monday of every September, our country celebrates Labor Day as a way of recognizing the hard work that has made this country great. Because making your home more comfortable and convenient is our business, we want you to have an enjoyable and pleasant Labor Day.

Labor Day is a time of good BBQ, the start of the professional and college football seasons, entertainment with family and friends, and, most importantly, taking a day off from work. Labor Day emerges as a federal holiday in the wake of the Pullman Strike of 1894. It was designated as such by President Grover Cleveland and Congress as a way to reconcile the damage done by the faceoff between the Federal government and the Pullman Palace Car Company workers and other railroad workers. But over a decade before it became official, Labor Day began as a workers’ picnic and demonstration suggested by either Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Labor, or Matthew Maguire of the Central Labor Union of New York.

From our family to yours, we wish you all the best on this Labor Day.

Happy New Year’s Eve!

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Everyone at Sound Heating wants to wish you a very happy New Year! We hope you have a fun (and safe!) time saying goodbye to 2012 and welcoming in the New Year!

If you are a person who makes resolutions, why not try to make your home more environmentally-friendly next year? Upgrading your heating and air conditioning system can reduce the amount of energy you need to keep your home comfortable. You can also save energy by adding insulation and sealing any air leaks. A greener home is not only better for the environment, but it also saves you money by reducing your utility bills. Contact Sound Heating to learn more about the benefits of upgrading your HVAC system.

Have a Happy New Year!

Happy Holidays from your Tacoma Heating and Cooling Specialists!

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Everyone at Sound Heating wishes you a very happy holiday! We would like to take a moment to thank all our wonderful customers who make it possible for our business to thrive. We look forward to working with you in the New Year. Have a wonderful celebration, and enjoy this time with friends and family!

As a quick reminder, if you haven’t yet scheduled your heating maintenance yet, you could be losing money this winter. Annual maintenance will not only cut down on repair costs, but it also ensures that your home’s heating system is running as efficiently as possible, which lowers utility bills. A comfortable, efficient home is a gift that everyone can appreciate.

Happy Holidays from Sound Heating!

Net-Zero Homes in Tacoma: An Exciting New Green Trend

Monday, October 29th, 2012

 

A net-zero home produces renewable energy equal to or greater than the energy the home consumes from public utilities.

Net-zero homes in Tacoma are part of the broader category of “green homes”(though non net-zero homes may still be considered “green” if they incorporate recycled building materials or other green technologies).

Net-zero homes are not the same as “carbon neutral” homes. Carbon neutrality can be attained for any home by purchasing carbon credits (often from geographically distant renewable energy sources) to offset the carbon emissions the home produces. Net-zero homes actually generate renewable energy on-site.

In regions of the world where homes must be heated or cooled for parts of the year, the design of a net-zero home is crucial. Net-zero homes minimize energy consumption by:

  • Taking advantage of natural elements such as sunlight, prevailing breezes, topography (for earth-sheltered building and geothermal systems), and vegetation.
  • Incorporating appropriate weatherization, insulation, and ventilation
  • Using “daylighting” such as skylights and solar tubes, high-efficiency light fixtures and bulbs, high-efficiency appliances
  • Reducing “phantom loads” of electrical power caused by electrical equipment on standby
  • Reclaiming and reusing energy whenever possible instead of venting it outside as in conventional homes; for example, in some net-zero homes refrigerator exhaust is used to heat water.

Net-zero homes also produce their own renewable power using solar, wind, hydronic, and/or geothermal “microgeneration” systems. The type of power generated will depend on climate and topography. Some net-zero homes are autonomous or “energy-autarkic” (i.e. “off-the-grid”) while others are connected to the grid and feed power back to the grid when it is not being used in the home.

While true net-zero homes generally must be specifically designed as such, it is possible to move toward net-zero energy usage for a conventional or existing home.

  • Make the “envelope” of your home as efficient as possible with appropriate insulation, weatherization, energy-efficient windows, passive solar, and ventilation.
  • Reduce energy demand by upgrading to high-efficiency furnaces (or heat pumps), air conditioning, lighting, and plumbing. Also, reduce “ghost load” from appliances on standby.
  • Add micro-generation capacity. For most North American homes, solar is the most appropriate choice, though residential wind turbines are also gaining in popularity. Some localutilities even offer assistance and rebates for installing solar.
  • If you are building a home, keep it as small as you can while still meeting your space needs.

And, the most important part of making your home as close to net-zero as possible: be disciplined about your daily energy use habits!

Give Sound Heating a call today if you have any questions about renewable energy.

Air Conditioners and Humidity: A Tip From Steilacoom

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Ever wonder why all of those air conditioners hanging out of people’s windows in Steilacoom are constantly dripping water on hot summer days? All they’re actually doing is disposing of the moisture they’ve removed from the indoor air. That’s right – air conditioners are dehumidifiers too.

When you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. After all, you know how much more uncomfortable 90° is when the humidity’s up around 90% than when it’s closer to 60%. Of course, some air conditioners are better at removing moisture from the air than others, so you should definitely consider how well an air conditioner dehumidifies when evaluating your air conditioning options.

Why Humidity Matters

High humidity, even at lower temperatures is uncomfortable. But there are more reasons than simple comfort to want an air conditioner that reduces indoor humidity levels. For instance, high levels of humidity promote the growth and spread of several allergens like dust mites and mold spores. High indoor humidity can also cause problems for the wood fixtures and furnishings in your home.

The Importance of Proper Sizing

Most air conditioners do a decent job of controlling humidity indoors. But depending on the severity of your problem and the typical levels of humidity in your area during the summer months, you may want to pay special attention to each unit’s capabilities when evaluating your options.

An air conditioner’s ability to maintain proper humidity levels indoors has a lot to do with how well it’s matched to the size of your room as well. An air conditioner that’s too small likely won’t get the humidity or the temperature down to a comfortable level. On the other hand, that doesn’t necessarily mean that bigger is better.

In fact, an air conditioner that’s too large for the space you’re using it to cool will have a hard time bringing down the humidity level. Sure, you’ll wind up with a cold room, but that room will remain damp, making it no more comfortable than it was before the air conditioner was turned on.

For all of these reasons, it’s important to carefully evaluate your options when buying an air conditioner and make sure that the unit you buy is the right kind and size for the area you’re cooling. A little extra time spent researching your options will make your home infinitely more comfortable this summer. If you have more questions about which air conditioner is right for you, contact your local AC contractor.

Welcome to our new website

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

iMarket Solutions has launched Sound Heating ’s new custom website. To learn more about how iMarket Solutions can expand your presence on the web visit:www.imarketwebsitesolutions.com

Check out our blog for the latest in HVAC technology

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Be sure to bookmark the Sound Heating blog for updates on the latest advances in HVAC technology.

We’ll feature money saving promotions here as well.

Call Sound Heating for all your heating, hydronics, air conditioning & indoor air quality needs.