Archive for November, 2014

How Does a New Thermostat Help with Heating?

Friday, November 28th, 2014

Although the thermostat is a physically small component of the heating system in a home, it is one of the most important. When a thermostat begins to malfunction, it can have a huge effect on how well your home is heated; and if the thermostat stops working entirely, you won’t have the ability to turn the heater on or off.

However, you can have a perfectly working thermostat but still suffer from inferior heating because the thermostat is out-of-date and in need of an upgrade. If you still have an older manual thermostat or a standard digital thermostat without programmable features, you should call Sound Heating today and talk to our heating experts about updating your heating system with new controls. We install and service a variety of thermostats to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of heating in Tacoma, WA and the surrounding areas.

Ways That a New Thermostat Will Mean Better Heating

  • Improved precision: If you are still using a manual thermostat with sliders and dials, you are missing out on precision temperature settings. Digital thermostats are much more accurate, which will help you with comfort as well as energy savings.
  • Programmability and energy savings: Most digital thermostats today come with programming. These programs vary from simple (one setting for the morning, one for the evening) to complex (settings for each day of the week) so you can choose the right kind for your budget. Programmable thermostats allow you to enjoy comfort without wasting energy: if you want the house warmed up before you come home each evening, but you don’t want to drain energy running the heater all day, you can program the thermostat to turn the heating system on a half hour before the time you plan to return.
  • Zone control: To fully update your thermostat, have multiple thermostats installed as part of a new zone control system. Zone control uses dampers inside the ductwork to control the flow of heat to different parts of the house. A network of wireless thermostats manipulates each of the dampers. You can turn heating on and off from a central thermostat, or change the temperature in individual rooms using the local thermostats. Thanks to wireless technology, it is easier than ever to set up a zone control system for a home.

Because there is a large variety of thermostats available, you need trained professionals to help you choose the one that will do the job you need for your home. Call Sound Heating today: we offer many different thermostat models and brands, and our professional installers will see that you receive top quality service that will benefit your heating.

Will Thanksgiving Turkey Really Make You Sleepy?

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

We’ve all heard it before: you feel so sleepy after a Thanksgiving meal because of the main event: the turkey. For years, people have credited extraordinary levels of tryptophan in turkey as the reason we all feel the need to nap after the annual feast. But contrary to this popular mythology, tryptophan is probably not he largest responsible party for your post-meal exhaustion.

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, which means it’s something that our bodies need but do not produce naturally. Your body uses tryptophan to help make vitamin B3 and serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that sends chemicals to the brain to aid in sleep. But in order to get this essential amino acid, we have to eat foods that contain it.

Turkey has somewhat high levels of tryptophan, but so do many other foods, including eggs, peanuts, chocolate, nuts, bananas, and most other meats and dairy products. In fact, ounce-for-ounce cheddar cheese contains a greater amount of tryptophan than turkey. In order for tryptophan to make you feel sleepy, you would have to consume it in excessive amounts, and serotonin is usually only produced by tryptophan on an empty stomach.

The truth is, overeating is largely responsible for the “food coma” many people describe post-Thanksgiving. It takes a lot of energy for your body to process a large meal, and the average Thanksgiving plate contains about twice as many calories as is recommended for daily consumption. If anything, high levels of fat in the turkey cause sleepiness, as they require a lot of energy for your body to digest. Lots of carbohydrates, alcohol, and probably a bit of stress may also be some of the reasons it feels so satisfying to lay down on the couch after the meal and finally get a little bit of shut-eye.

If you feel the need to indulge in a heaping dose of tryptophan this year, go ahead! Turkey also contains healthy proteins and may even provide a boost for your immune system. Here at Sound Heating, we hope your Thanksgiving is full of joy and contentment this year. Happy feasting!

Common Heating System Repairs to Look Out for

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Any type of heating system may have its advantages and drawbacks. A furnace, the most popular choice for home heating in the United States, is a reliable heating system that works in any home with a set of ducts. Though older models were rather inefficient, today’s units use far less energy to heat the air than they once did. Many people choose a heat pump for heating instead, which is an extremely efficient type of system that also allows for air conditioning. These can have a very long lifespan, but you may need an additional source of heating for nights when the temperature drops too low. Finally, the boiler is one of the most durable systems available, requiring fewer repairs because of how little energy is utilized to heat and circulate water.

However, you can buy the best heating system available on the market today, and it will still encounter repairs at some point in its life. And any time you run into a repair need, you should schedule immediate service to make sure the problem doesn’t worsen and hamper efficiency or that you suddenly lose heating in the middle of the night. Be on the lookout for any of the following common repair needs for any type of heating system.

  • Strange Noises: Unusual noises from your heating system usually indicate that something is wrong. In a heat pump, it could signal compressor damage. In any type of forced-air heating system, loud noises can indicate trouble with the motor. And with a boiler, an unusual noise could indicate kittling, pump damage, or a number of other issues.
  • Reduced Heating: Of course, you probably know to call a plumber when your heating system delivers no heat at all. But what if there is simply not enough heat? If it’s tolerable, the repairs can wait, right? Waiting to schedule repairs will only cause parts to become worn down, and your unit may break down in the middle of the night without warning.
  • Short Cycling: Short cycling is when your unit starts up and runs for a short while, only to turn off before the heating cycle is completed. Some of the most important components of a heat pump, furnace, or boiler may be responsible for this problem although it could simply indicate a faulty thermostat.

Don’t wait to schedule heating repairs in Tacoma with a trained professional. Call Sound Heating for friendly, professional service today!

What Is a Hydronic Heating System?

Friday, November 7th, 2014

A hydronic heating system is a broad term for any system that uses water to heat a home instead of air. Radiant heating systems are the most common form of hydronic heating. In this post, we’ll discuss the various unique qualities of the radiant heating system, and the advantages it provides.

What is Radiant Heating?

Radiant heating systems begin by installing water pipes in each of the rooms to be heated. Normally, these pipes are installed in the walls or subfloor of a room. Occasionally, you’ll see these pipes terminate in a terminal like a baseboard heater or iron radiator. These terminals are becoming less and less common in the U.S., though.

Once these pipes are installed, they all are linked back to a central boiler. The boiler heats water and pumps it through these pipes throughout the house. As the water flows through the pipes, it transfers its heat to the pipes, then the wall or floor, and from there into the room. This is why the system is called “radiant heating,” because the heat radiates through solid objects. The heat then moves from object to object in the room, transferred by two objects touching each other, until the room is evenly heated.

Why Choose Radiant Heating?

In order to understand the benefits of radiant heating, you first need to understand the difference between water and air as thermal mediums. Water is a much better conductor of thermal energy than air is. This makes water a much more energy efficient way to transport heat. Radiant heating systems tend to warm a room faster, and keep it warm longer, with less effort than a forced air system. The delivery system is also part of this.

In forced air systems, warm air is blown through the ducts and into the room to heat it. The problem is that warm air naturally rises to the top of the room, only sinking as it cools. This defeats the purpose of heating the room in the first place. Radiant heating transmits thermal energy through objects instead of the air, avoiding this issue by keeping the heat closer to ground level where it can be appreciated.

If you’d like to know more about radiant heating, call Sound Heating. We install heating systems throughout the Tacoma area.