Archive for March, 2013

Air Quality Tip: Advantages of Steam Humidifiers

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Many homeowners in Seattle are increasingly concerned about the quality of the air in their homes. Whether it’s mold, bacteria, dust, pollen, dander, or other foreign debris, controlling what kinds of particles circulate through your home can be challenging to say the least. But one complaint that stands out among the rest is low humidity levels. Dry air can often be difficult to breathe, can result in skin irritation, and can slow healing. Ensuring that you have the appropriate levels of humidity in your home is critical to your health and comfort. Steam humidifiers make a great addition to any home. For more information, or for humidifier installation in Seattle, WA, call Sound Heating & Air Conditioning today!

A steam humidifier works by boiling water until it’s vaporized and then sending it circulating it through your home by means of a tube inside your ductwork. They are quiet and easy to maintain. While a standard power humidifier works by blowing your hot air over wet pads or cells, they can often reduce airflow and create bacteria problems. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of a steam humidifier:

  • Cleanliness. Because water needs to reach boiling point in order to vaporize, steam humidification is the cleanest of its kind. This means less risk of increased bacteria levels in your home.
  • Comfort. The appropriate level of humidity in your home makes it comfortable. By installing a steam humidifier, the dry air in your home will change into moist air that seems to make breathing easier. This can help to improve your sleeping habits, allow your sinuses to heal, and reduce skin irritation.
  • Good health. Customers who suffer from respiratory problems or other health concerns may be adversely affected by dry air. Steam humidification boosts the natural healing process by adjusting to the appropriate amount of humidity. Dry air conditions can be intolerable, especially for the elderly and the very young.

Low humidity levels in the air can negatively impact your health at home. Make sure that your air is comfortable with a steam humidifier. For comprehensive indoor air quality services in Seattle, call Sound Heating & Air Conditioning today!

Air Conditioning Tip: When to Schedule Spring Maintenance for Your AC System?

Monday, March 11th, 2013

At Sound Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer comprehensive air conditioning maintenance service in Tacoma, WA. One of the main services we offer is an annual tune-up for your air conditioner or heat pump. It is a good idea to schedule this service in the spring, before the hot weather gets here and when you have to use your air conditioning system the most. This helps to ensure that any known issues are handled before your turn on your AC so that your system doesn’t break down in the middle of a heat wave.

During one of these routine tune-ups, here are some of the basic tasks that our technicians will provide:

  • Clean condenser coil
  • Check and tighten electrical connections
  • Check for oil and refrigerant leaks
  • Test safety features and efficiency levels
  • Inspect blower belt
  • Inspect expansion valve and coil temperatures
  • Replace or clean air filter
  • Check refrigerant level and charge if necessary
  • Check condensate drain for clogs
  • Lubricate moving parts as needed

In addition to these basic tasks, we also give advice on how to properly operate your air conditioning system, including the thermostat. We can also show you how to do basic maintenance tasks and keep your system clean. We give customers who sign our service contract priority service under certain conditions, including your agreement to operate the AC system according to our instructions. It’s also important that you notify us as soon as you notice anything unusual about your air conditioner, whether it’s a strange noise or poor performance.

Another reason to schedule tune-ups in the spring is that it will help to ensure that your AC system is working at optimal efficiency levels. If not our Tacoma air conditioning specialists can give some tips or pinpoint areas of improvement, such as installing a programmable thermostat or insulating parts of your home.

Call Sound Heating & Air Conditioning for your next Tacoma, WA air conditioning service and tune-up!

Heating FAQ: How Efficient is a Hydronic System?

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Here at Sound Heating, we often get asked about hydronic heating systems in Tacoma, WA. For people that have forced-air systems like furnaces and heat pumps, the idea of hydronic heating is very interesting. There are definitely distinct advantages that hydronic heating systems, like boilers, enjoy over furnaces and heat pumps. But how efficient are boilers really? At Sound Heating, we offer comprehensive heating services, including heating repair in Tacoma, WA and heating installation. We wanted to help shed some like on hydronic heating and help out our customers in the area.

What Is Hydronic Heating?

Hydronic heating is the use of hot water to heat your home. Common hydronic heating systems including hot water radiators, under-floor heating and wall heating systems. The systems usually include a large boiler where the water is heated (not boiled) and a pump that pushes the water through the pipes to the rest of the house.

Difference Between Forced-Air Heating and Hydronic Heating

Forced air systems use convection to heat your home: your furnace draws in air, heats it up and then circulates it through your home. Hydronic heating systems use heat radiation to heat your home. Heat radiates out from the radiators in your rooms or from the pipes in the floor. Thus, hydronic heating systems actually heat the objects in the room instead of heating the air.

 How Efficient is a Hydronic Heating System?

Hydronic heating systems do offer homeowners some energy advantages over forced-air systems. One of the main advantages is that radiant heat is easier to retain in a space than convective heat. This allows hydronic heating systems to use less energy to keep your home warm. Also, many hydronic heating systems feature zone control. This allows you to only heat the rooms in your home that you’re using instead of wasting energy heating other, unoccupied rooms.

If you have any questions about hydronic heating installation in Tacoma, WA call Sound Heating. We have years of experience installing all kinds of heating systems—including forced-air and hydronic systems. Contact Sound Heating today!

Heating FAQ: What are the most efficient heating options?

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Energy prices never seem to go down which is why many homeowners are looking for new and creative ways to reduce the amount energy that they use in their homes. Getting a new heating system is a great way to potentially reduce your heating bills because new systems are typically much more efficient than older ones. Contact the Olympia WA heating experts at Sound Heating if you’re interested in getting a new heating system. We thought it would be helpful if we put together a quick list of some of the most efficient heating systems on the market.

Forced Air Heating Systems

Forced-air systems like furnaces and heat pumps are extremely popular across the country. They are able to provide very efficient and comfortable heating. Furnaces are given an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating that describes how much of the fuel they consume is actually turned into heat. Many older furnaces had an AFUE rating of about 60%, meaning that they wasted the other 40%. New furnaces can have up to 98% AFUE ratings which is a huge improvement. Heat pumps, on the other hand are normally even more efficient than furnaces because they don’t actually burn fuel to create heat. Instead, they just move heat from one place to another. Their heating mode has an efficiency rating called a Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) that describes how much heat they produce over a season divided by the energy that they consume. Heat pumps also include geothermal heat pumps which use the energy of the ground or the water to provide heating and cooling as well. These systems are even more efficient than standard air-source heat pumps.

Hydronic Heating Systems

Unlike forced-air systems, hydronic heating systems like boilers use heated water to provide heat to your home. They typically use a series of pipes in the floor, walls or baseboards to produce heat. This kind of heat is also called radiant heat. Many homeowners have reported that radiant heat is actually more comfortable than forced-air heat. Because of how radiant works, homeowners can typically set their thermostats a few degrees lower to remain comfortable. This could potentially reduce the amount of energy that you use in your home for heating.

For all your Olympia, WA heating repair and installation needs, contact Sound Heating today.