Archive for September, 2014

What are the Benefits of Fall Maintenance?

Friday, September 26th, 2014

With all the other bills, minor repairs, and general upkeep involved with being a homeowner, it can sometimes be tempting to neglect fall heating maintenance. Ultimately, however, such neglect can only hurt you in the long run.

Here are some of the most important benefits of having your heating system serviced every fall.

Convenience

By the time fall arrives, the demand for air conditioning is tapering off, and the need for heat hasn’t reached great heights quite yet. This makes fall the perfect time to schedule service for your heating system. If you wait until winter is fully upon us, however, it will be much more difficult to get prompt service. If something then goes wrong with your heating, you will be doubly sorry that you didn’t have it looked at earlier.

Savings

As the adage goes “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It is far cheaper to conduct preventative maintenance than it is to repair or replace broken heating systems. Logically, the best time to conduct this kind of maintenance is right before you begin heavily using the system in winter. It may seem like an unnecessary bother at the time, but you could be saving yourself thousands of dollars by catching problems before they become severe.

Efficiency

Even if your heating system doesn’t break during heavy use, it will not be performing at peak efficiency if you neglect to give it regular maintenance. Buildup of dirt and other materials can significantly impair your heating system’s ability to actually heat your home. Even simple wear and tear can make your system operate far under normal efficiency before something actually breaks. Aside from making your house far less comfortable in winter, this can also cost you money as your system expends more energy to keep the temperature up.

Overall, the benefits of fall maintenance far outweigh the risks of neglecting it. No matter what kind of heating system you use, it is never a bad idea to have a professional examine it before you begin to use it regularly. If you haven’t scheduled your fall heating system maintenance yet, call Sound Heating. No matter where you are in the Tacoma area, we can take care of your heating maintenance needs. Schedule your HVAC maintenance in Tacoma with Sound Heating today!

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!

Are There Some Cases Where a Standard Water Heater Is Better than a Tankless Water Heater?

Friday, September 12th, 2014

You may have heard that tankless water heaters are an efficient alternative to traditional water heaters, but they may not actually be the best choice for everyone. While tankless water heaters are becoming more and more popular, traditional units, otherwise known as storage tank water heaters, are still the most widely used system in the U.S. And even though tankless water heaters save energy and emit fewer pollutants, many homeowners feel as though they benefit more from sticking with a traditional unit instead.

Both types of systems have their advantages. Tankless units are more efficient because they don’t use energy throughout the day. Storage tank water heaters keep water heated in a large tank so it is readily available for use. But this means energy is used throughout the day to heat water that is only used on occasion. A tankless water heater only activates when a hot water tap is turned on, reducing your gas or electricity usage. Also, tankless water heaters are known to last nearly twice as long as a standard water heater, so you’ll have an efficient system for years to come.

But for some homeowners, efficiency isn’t everything. For one, a tankless water heater is often more costly to install than a storage tank heater. And while an efficient tankless unit may eventually save enough energy to offset the price, it can take many years to do so. Besides, you may have to install multiple tankless units to keep up with high demands for hot water in your family.

A common complaint about tankless water heaters is that they may not be effective at heating multiple sources as once. If someone is doing laundry while someone else is showering, some units will struggle to keep up. In this case, you may need to install two or more units depending on the size of your family. And for some homeowners, this cost is not worth the savings over time.

Whether you want to stick with a storage tank water heater or switch to an efficient tankless water heater in Gig Harbor, talk to one of the experts at Sound Heating today!

Tankless vs. Storage Water Heater: Which Is Right for My Home?

Friday, September 5th, 2014

You use hot water for many of the things you need to do every day, such as showering and washing dishes. So when you need a new water heater, you want to make sure that your new system can accommodate your needs. While many homes have water heaters that use large tanks to keep a supply of hot water available, tankless water heaters are rising in popularity recently due to environmental concerns and the money-saving benefits. But is a tankless water heater right for you?

We’ll Compare Both Types of Water Heaters in This Short Guide

Storage Tank Water Heater

A storage tank water heater works under the principle that heat naturally rises. Water enters the tank through a dip tube that feeds all the way to the bottom of the tank. With gas-powered storage tank heaters, there is a gas burner at the bottom of the tank that heats water. In an electric water heater, an electric heating element accomplishes the same. Water then moves naturally from the bottom of your tank to the top as hot water rises over the denser cold water, and flows to your faucet through the pipe that sits at the top of the tank. This type of system may cost more to run as a lot of energy is lost keeping water hot at all times.

Tankless Water Heater

A tankless water heater, on the other hand, does not rely on a tank because water does not need to be heated at all times. Instead, the heating element is activated as soon as a hot water tap is turned on. Water is instantly heated before flowing to your faucet. This eliminates the standby energy loss associated with storage tank heaters. Additionally, many people appreciate the smaller size of the tankless water heater over the bulky storage tank.

So which wins for your home? This all depends on your individual needs. A tankless water heater may use less energy to heat water, but it may not be able to handle demands from multiple taps. You may need to install multiple tankless heaters to make up for this deficiency. However, the energy savings may offset this cost over time. If you want to know which type of unit is best for you, call the experts at Sound Heating and ask about installing tankless water heaters in Gig Harbor.