Archive for October, 2013

Why Heat Pump Short Cycling is a Problem

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Heat pumps combine the functions of an air conditioner and a heater into a single unit. In the summer, a heat pump cools the air inside your home while releasing heat into the air outside. In the winter, that process is reversed: releasing heat into the air in your home and cooling the air outside. They work extremely well in towns with mild weather like Puyallup; heating repair services often treat them in addition to handling problems with traditional gas furnaces.  If you notice your heat pump short cycling (turning on and off rapidly multiple times throughout the day) it could indicate a number of different problems from an oversized heat pump to a faulty thermostat to a malfunctioning fan motor. Whatever the cause, however, it needs to be addressed before the issue gets out of hand. Here’s why heat pump short cycling is a problem.

Heat pumps use more energy when they turn on and off than they do at any other time in the heating process. The effort required to power up and get up to speed (or power down and shut off) is far greater than simply running once it all kicks in. Furthermore, the process of turning the pump on creates much more strain and stress on individual components than running at a clip: increasing the chances of a breakdown and hastening the point when that component needs to be replaced.

Thus, a heat pump that cycles on and off rapidly throughout the day will work harder to cool your home – raising energy costs and hitting you with a higher monthly bill to do the same job – while increasing the risk of a more serious breakdown and even more repair costs in the future.

In Puyallup, heating repair services are offered by Sound Heating, who understand why heat pump short cycling is a problem. Our trained Puyallup heating repair service professionals can hunt down the source of the issue and restore your heat pump to standard operating condition. Don’t waste money by ignoring a cycling heat pump. Give us a call to set up an appointment today.

The Benefits of Routine Heating Maintenance

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

People sometimes have an instinctual reaction to the word “maintenance.” It sounds like work, but it also sounds like something that can be put off… so it gets put off. We wish people would hear the word for what it really means: work done to sustain something—usually something important that you don’t want to fail.

The heating system in your home—whether a furnace, heat pump, or boiler—should never have its maintenance put off. (Although if you have been putting it off, it’s never too late to start!) The benefits of scheduling annual maintenance visits are immense. Here are the three big advantages you’ll receive from regular heating maintenance in Tacoma, WA. When you’re ready to get started, contact Sound Heating and put our more than two decades of experience to work for you.

Prevent emergency services (at the worst times)

It’s seems like a law of nature that if your heater breaks down completely, it will do so on the coldest day of the year. (Actually, there’s no supernatural agency to this; poorly maintained heaters will fail when pushed their hardest, and that will likely occur on the coldest day of the year.) A maintenance visit during the fall will catch any faults that might lead to this catastrophe and get them fixed so you won’t be left with an Arctic house while waiting for emergency service.

Extend your heater’s lifespan

A heater cannot last forever, no matter how sturdy a brand you have installed. But it can last to its full expected service lifespan and maybe a few years beyond if you have it maintained regularly. Maintenance entails lubricating and cleaning moving parts, replacing worn components, and reducing general stress so that your heater won’t age quickly. A replacement heater can be expensive, so make sure you get as many quality years from your current system as you can.

Save money with a more efficient performance

One of the first signs of trouble in a heating system is a spike in power bills: a malfunctioning heater will need to draw more power in order to provide heat. A heating system that runs improperly because of lack of maintenance will lead to an increase in your energy costs. Regular tune-ups will add up to long-term savings.

Sound Heating offers multiple maintenance plans to fit your home’s heating system. When you are ready to begin your maintenance, contact the Tacoma, WA heating maintenance specialists at Sound Heating to schedule an appointment.

Does Your Heater Need to be Replaced?

Monday, October 14th, 2013

If you’re asking yourself if it’s time to install a new home heating system, it’s probably because you have worries about the rapidly approaching winter. Since we’re on the edge of the Pacific Ocean here in Puget Sound, we experience milder temperatures during winter than places farther inland—but we still have heavy rains and gnawing wind to deal with, which makes an effective heater a necessity. If you’re concerned about whether your heater can make it through the winter without experiencing a breakdown, it’s possible that a new heater is the best option.

This is a difficult decision to make, since it involves time and expense. You’ll have fewer headaches if you turn to an HVAC company with years of experience to handle the installation—starting with helping you decide if a new heating system is the answer for your heating in Olympia, WA.

At Sound Heating, these are a few signs we look for to tell if a heater needs to be replaced. Knowing them may help you with your decision:

Noisy operation: HVAC manufacturers design heaters to run with as little noise as possible. If we hear a furnace making constant grinding noises, or a boiler that rumbles all the time, it’s a major clue that the system is too old to operate properly. There are other possibilities we look into, and if the sound is an isolated occurrence, the heater may only need repair. But the more consistent and noisy the heater, the more likely it needs replacement.

Increased power bills: We often find that customers who are concerned about their heater’s future have experienced an increase in their power bills that they didn’t expect: a price hike above the normal one from the shift to winter. Make sure you pay attention to your monthly bills, because a constant increase is a strong warning of a heater approaching the end of its service life.

Numerous repairs: If we’ve visited a home to perform repairs multiple times over a space of a few years, we suspect that the heater is very worn down. At a certain point, you’ll need to weigh the cost of future repairs against the cost of replacement.

You can make all these observations without the help of a professional contractor, but you should call one in for a second opinion before you decide to go with a replacement. The professional can then help you with selecting a new heater, sizing it, and installing it efficiently and correctly.

If you have concerns in Olympia, WA about heating your home—whether its repair, replacement, or maintenance—come to Sound Heating for a sound solution.

3 Ways to Reduce Your Heating Bill This Fall

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Do you dread the coming of fall, not because of the drop in temperature, but because of the impact the drop in temperature has on your finances? You aren’t alone: home heating in Puyallup, WA can get expensive as the thermometer begins to fall. But you do have methods to reduce your heating bills, some of them very easy to do. These 3 options will get you started in putting a check on rising heating costs.

If you want advice on heating from experts, look to Sound Heating. We’ve served Puget Sound for over 20 years, so we know the sort of conditions you can expect to encounter during the later months of the year.

1. Lower your thermostat

What’s the best temperature to set your thermostat to? It’s almost certainly not the highest setting. Just because you can heat the inside of your home to 90°F doesn’t mean you should; aside from the high energy cost, this will overtax your heater and could cause it to break down. According to the US Department of Energy, homeowners can save 18% on their energy costs if they lower their thermostats 5° to 10° for 8 hours a day. This isn’t difficult: 68° is sufficient heat for comfort with an extra layer of clothes. When you’re asleep, lower the thermostat to 58° and pull up an extra blanket.

2. Seal heat leaks

The construction of modern homes aims to make them heat seals, so excess heat doesn’t get in during the spring and summer, and vital heat doesn’t escape during the fall and winter. But this seal isn’t perfect, and gaps around doors and windows, or insufficient insulation, will drain away this precious heat and make your heating system labor harder to compensate. Install storm windows to reduce heat loss, caulk your windows, and put weather stripping around the outside doors to keep as much heat as you can inside your home.

3. Schedule regular maintenance for your heater

Having a professional give your heater a check-up and tune-up is an excellent way to make sure it performs well without draining extra power during the fall. The technician will tighten connections and clean the system so it performs efficiently. Preventive maintenance will also reduce the wear and tear on your system so it won’t age as fast and will continue to perform at its best throughout the fall and into the winter.

The Puyallup, WA heating experts at Sound Heating are available 24-hours a day to help you with your heating needs. If you want to get started with reining in your heating bill for the coming fall, contact us to schedule your annual maintenance check.

Common Heating Repair Needs in Tacoma, WA

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

In Tacoma, WA heating units are a vital part of keeping your home cozy and comfortable during our omnipresent rain. When problems develop, you need to address them promptly lest they leave you without reliable heating just when you need it the most. A professional Tacoma heating service company like Sound Heating & Air Conditioning can deal with common heating repair needs, but it helps if you the homeowner understand what those needs are. A few of the more common ones can be found below:

  • Thermostat issues. A malfunctioning thermostat can wreak all kinds of havoc with your heater. Misreading the temperature results in your house being too cold or too hot, while an inability to engage the fan can leave the hot air just sitting in the central unit. In some cases, a faulty thermostat means that the heater won’t turn on at all.
  • Pilot light or ignition control problems. If you turn the heat on and yet the air moving through your house isn’t particularly warm, it could indicate a problem with the pilot light and/or ignition control. Without the light, the furnace can’t generate any heat, even if every other aspect of the system is functioning the way it should.
  • Air flow issues. Problems with air flow can stem from a number of issues. There may be blockage in your ducts, a leak or a fissure may have developed, the fan belt may be frayed or broken, or the fan motor may have overheated.  Regardless of the cause, the issue drops your air flow to nothing, slowing the speed at which your home is heated and costing you in higher energy bills as a result.

When common heating repairs arise, it pays to call upon a heating company with the experience and know-how to do the job right. The Tacoma heating repair specialists at Sound Heating & Air Conditioning is ready to handle any problem you may have, from the smallest to the largest. In Tacoma, WA, heating issues need to be addressed promptly, but with an eye on quality service. We’re completely dedicated to your satisfaction in all aspects of the operation. Contact us today to make an appointment.