Sound Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. Blog: Archive for January, 2014

Can I Add Zone Control to My Existing Heating System?

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

A zone control system is used to regulate different sections of your house. For example, it allows you to set one temperature in the living room (where it may be quite cool) and another temperature in the kitchen (where using the stove might elevate he temperature considerably). You can also shut off the heat in parts of the house you aren’t using and save a lot of money on monthly bills. This provides a tangible advantage over centralized furnaces, which deliver one uniform temperature for the entire house. Here in Puyallup, heating services can provide zone control systems that use stand-alone units such as ductless mini split systems. “But can I add zone control to my existing heating system?” you ask. It’s a fair question and – provided you use the right heating technician – the answer is yes.

The ductless mini-split system makes for easy zone control because each component is an individual heater in and of itself. With multiple units scattered throughout your house, you can turn them on and off as you wish and tailor the temperature accordingly. If you already have a centralized furnace, however, such a system becomes a needless waste: rendering your ductwork obsolete and essentially leaving one fully functioning furnace all but useless.

Adding zone controls to your existing heating system solves all of that. Instead of using multiple separate units, the technician installs a series of valves and dampers in your duct system at key points. Controls are added allowing you to open and close the dampers at different points in the system, modifying or shutting off the heat in various sections of the house. It facilitates good zone control without rendering your existing system useless, and upgrading an existing system in this manner tends improve the resale value of your home to boot.

If you’re asking “Can I add zone control to my existing heating system?” then Sound Heating can help. Our Puyallup heating system technicians have handled heating issues of all varieties for over 20 years, and our staff has considerable experience upgrading existing systems with zone controls. We’re happy to discuss your options with you, and will work overtime to ensure you’re completely happy with your new upgrades. Give us a call today!

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Sensible Tips to Reduce Your Heating Bill

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

No one likes to see a high heating bill, but in rainy towns like Olympia, heating costs are a fact of life. We all need warm comfortable spaces to come home to, and with the weather so cold and rainy during this part of the year, it’s only natural to see heating costs rise. With sensible planning and a little foresight, however, you can cut those costs a good deal. A few steps are obvious. For instance, you can set your thermostat a few degrees lower than you normally might and you can dress warmly inside. Beyond that, here are some sensible tips to reduce your heating bill.

  • Seal up leaks and cracks. You may notice that your door fits loosely in the frame, or that air leaks out of your window frames when you turn on the heat. They cost you in energy efficiency. You can correct the problem by sealing those cracks with weather stripping, available at any hardware store. You might also look into replacing your leaky window frames with vinyl siding, or buying double-paned windows.
  • Add insulation. Insulation helps retain heat, especially if you place it in the attic where most heat escapes. If you can, add a second layer of insulation, and look into adding more in your walls as well.
  • Upgrade your heating system. A trained technician can install new components to your existing system to help you cut down on heating costs. The most pertinent is a zone control system, which divides your home into sections and lets you individually heat or cool each one.  That allows you to turn off the heat in sections of the house you aren’t using. In addition, if you have an older thermostat, you might consider replacing it with a digital one, which lets your automatically turn the heat off and on to coincide with your daily departures and arrivals.

Sensible tips to reduce your heating bill should be applied along with regular maintenance and upkeep for your heating system from our professional Olympia heating system service techs. That will help reduce wasted energy and keep your heater functioning at its best. In Olympia, heating maintenance can be performed by the trained experts at Sound Heating. Call us today to see what we can do for you!

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3 Great Things about Hydronic Heating

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Hydronic heating refers to heating that uses water or steam to warm your home. It’s a form of radiant heating, with plastic pipes installed in your floors and walls through which hot water or steam is pumped. Here in Olympia, heating options can include hydronic heating very easily, and the system makes a good fit for our cool, wet weather. How, exactly? We’re glad you asked.  Here are 3 great things about hydronic heating.

  • It’s efficient. Because it heats the room directly through the floors and walls, there isn’t a lot of wasted energy with a hydronic heating system. You don’t lose any heating potential with forced air, and you avoid the problems of drafts and cold spots that come with it. Hydronic heating warms the room evenly leaving no corner untouched, and you can install zone control systems that let you heat only those parts of the household that you want.
  • It’s inexpensive. While start-up installation tends to cost more, hydronic heating doesn’t need a whole lot of power once it gets going. That means your monthly heating bills could be a lot less expensive and may even pay for the cost of installation over time, depending upon your circumstances.
  • It’s clean. Unlike gas furnaces, hydronic systems don’t produce any pollution, and thus can reduce your impact on the environment significantly. They only energy used is a small amount of electricity, and because the system is self-contained, there’s no danger of runoff or similar problems. If you’re looking to “go green,” a hydronic heating system may be your best option.

For more great things about hydronic heating, or to discuss the possibility of installing a hydronic heating system in your home, call the Olympia, WA heating system experts at Sound Heating & Air Conditioning. We can help determine if a system will work for you, and perform installation and repair services with diligence and professionalism. Our staff operates throughout Olympia, heating with hydronic power is one of our signature services, and we are absolutely dedicated to your complete satisfaction at every step of the process. Call us today to set up an appointment!

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Common Heat Pump Problems in Tacoma

Monday, January 6th, 2014

In towns like Tacoma, heating repair companies handle heat pumps as often as they handle more traditional gas furnaces. Heat pumps essentially combine the functions of a heater and an air conditioner into one, resulting in a more efficient means of conditioning the air in your home. They work especially well in climates like ours, where the winters are fairly mild and homeowners have HVAC needs throughout the year. But just like any other appliance, heat pumps can experience problems, requiring the services of a trained professional to correct. Here’s a quick breakdown of common heat pump problems in Tacoma.

Heat pumps use the same basic technology as air conditioners, which means their problems are pretty much the same. One common development is a leak in refrigerant gas, which can interfere with the heat pump’s ability to generate cool (and warm) air. Refrigerant needs to be at a specific level if the heat pump is to work the way it should. When those levels are out of balance, frost forms on the evaporator coils, representing lost cooling potential and further hampering the pump’s ability to do its job. Simply scraping the frost off won’ fix the problem: the source of the leak needs to be sealed and refrigerant levels recharged before the system will function again.

Other problems are a little easier for laymen to grasp. For example, the fan motor can overheat, shutting the fan down and preventing the heat pump from moving conditioned air into your home. Clogs and blockages can form in various lines, preventing water from draining or keeping air from moving where it’s supposed to. Dust and dirt can build up to create friction between moving parts and eventually create breakdowns within individual components.

All of these spell the same thing: repair bills, inefficiency and a loss of heating and cooling power just when you need it the most. To correct common heat pump problems, the Tacoma heating system repair technicians at Sound Heating are at your disposal. Our trained heating system professionals can pinpoint the problem and get your system up and running again before you know it. Give us a call today to set up an appointment!

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