Posts Tagged ‘Bellevue’

How to Heat Your Home More Efficiently

Monday, January 1st, 2018

family playing with dog and looking comfortable inside homeThere’s no a place in the country we can think of where homeowners want to pay more than necessary on their home heating bills. That is particularly true for cold-weather states such as ours. We may not have as severe winter weather as the east coast, but we experience more than our fair share of cooler temperatures all year long, and therefore need heating systems in our homes that will work as effectively and efficiently as possible, for as long as possible.

Since heaters are mostly “out of sight, out of mind,” you may not think much about them, let alone what could be causing them to operate inefficiently. We’ve provided some tips below that should help you make small changes (which equate to big differences in efficiency) that can help your heater perform better, and help you prevent the biggest and most costly of Bellevue, WA heating repairs. (more…)

Signs Your Boiler Needs Repair

Monday, November 20th, 2017

Pipes of a heating systemA boiler system can only work as efficiently as it is meant to if it is properly cared for. This means that it needs to be professionally installed, repaired when needed, and maintained by experienced and highly trained technicians for it to perform at its best.

It’s also important to remember that even with the best care, there’s still a chance that something can eventually go wrong with your heater, and you might need to invest in Bellevue, WA heating repair before your boiler wears down to the point that it needs to be replaced. But do you know what indicators to look for when it comes to determining if this is, in fact, the case? (more…)

Air Conditioning Repair Issues that You Should Watch for

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

Just like any other system, your air conditioner is likely to develop a few problems over the course of its lifetime. No matter how well you take care of it, you’re going to have to call for air conditioner repairs at some point. The important thing is recognizing when you need to call for those repairs, and doing so as quickly as possible. The faster you address repair issues, the better shape your air conditioner will be in. With that in mind, let’s examine some air conditioning repair issues that you should watch out for.

Frozen or Dirty Coils

Your air conditioner makes use of two units in order to operate, one installed inside and one outside. Each unit contains a coil, which is connected to the refrigerant line that runs between them. The inside unit is the evaporator coil, which evaporates refrigerant in order to absorb heat from the air. This causes condensation to form on the coil, which is then drained out of the system. The refrigerant gas then carries the heat to the condenser coil in the outside unit. There, the gas is condensed back into a liquid to release the heat into the outside air. This is how your air conditioner cools the air in your home. When the coils become dirty, however, there are some problems that can occur.

A dirty evaporator coil loses the ability to absorb heat from the air. It keeps evaporating refrigerant, however, which causes the condensation on the coil to freeze before it can drain away. The buildup of ice completely blocks the flow of air to the evaporator coil, and could actually damage it if not removed in time.

Short-Cycling

Short-cycling is a behavior in which a system will rapidly turn itself on and off every few minutes. This is an extremely damaging behavior, one that can increase the chance of a breakdown and drastically shorten the system’s lifespan. In air conditioners, this is often caused by a malfunctioning thermostat or compressor. The thermostat will turn the air conditioner on and off either because of a short, or because it cannot accurately read the temperature in the room. Meanwhile, a malfunctioning compressor will cause irregular pressure in the refrigerant line, resulting in an irregular cycle.

If you think your air conditioning system is in need of repair, call Sound Heating for our quality air conditioning repair service in Bellevue, WA.

Common Tankless Water Heater Repairs

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Tankless water heaters have garnered quite a bit of popularity recently, mainly for their advantages over traditional storage tank water heaters. Compared to tank water heaters, tankless water heaters are more energy efficient and less likely to cause water damage to the surrounding area by rupturing. However, tankless water heaters are not immune to all problems. They still experience repair needs, of which you should be aware. Let’s take a look at the kinds of repairs tankless water heaters commonly need.

Gas or Electric Problems

Tankless water heaters rely on gas or electricity to heat the water they distribute. Even in gas water heaters, there are still electrical components. If your water heater seems to be having trouble starting, or distributing hot water, it is very often due to a problem with your gas or electrical supply. The specific repair is going to depend on the individual problem. If your gas pressure is too low, it may be because you have a blockage in the gas line or because your meter is maladjusted. If your electric tankless unit is malfunctioning, you could have a short or a burnout somewhere in the circuitry. Either way, you’ll want to contact a professional to have a look at your system.

Lime Scale

Lime scale is the result of hard water leaving mineral deposits on the inner walls of your pipes. In tankless water heaters, this tends to affect the heat exchanger more than anything else. Once the mineral deposits build to a certain point, they begin to restrict the flow of water through the heat exchanger. This can cause an increase in pressure and eventually rupture the pipe, though that is rare. Either way, you’ll want to have your tankless water heater inspected at least once a year to make sure that there isn’t lime scale building up inside it.

Most of the problems that tankless water heaters have to deal with are pretty tame, compared to other water heaters. However, that’s no reason to ignore them. If you suspect that your tankless water heater has a problem, call Sound Heating right away. We service tankless water heaters throughout Bellevue.

The Science of Solar Panels

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Humans have used the power emanating from the Sun for power since before the beginnings of civilization. But it was only with the invention of solar cells capable of collecting the Sun’s radiant energy and turning it into electricity that humanity has been capable of using solar power to provide for the needs of entire buildings and complexes. Today, you can have your whole house wired to run exclusively from solar collectors on the roof… or you can have a smaller installation to handle a single task, like heating your home’s water.

Solar energy come with enormous benefits: the Sun’s energy is free, renewable, and clean. If you haven’t considered solar installation in Bellevue, WA before, now is a great time to look into the possibilities. Call Sound Heating and speak to our solar experts today to learn more about the types of installations we can perform that will place the power of the Sun into your home.

How Modern Solar Energy Panels Work

You already know how the Sun provides energy directly: the warmth from its rays heats up exposed surfaces and raises their temperatures. But how do solar panels and solar cells work to change the Sun’s energy into electrical power?

The basic principle of solar cells is photovoltaics, which is a method of electrical power generation that changes solar radiation into electrical current. The photovoltaic effect was first observed in 1839 by French physicist A. E. Becquerel: certain material, when exposed to light, creates voltage or electric current. The exposure to light excites the electrons to generate electromotive force, converting some of the light into electrical power.

The material inside modern solar panels that exhibits the photovoltaic effect are semiconductors, which are arranged into groups of photovoltaic modules that make up the PV panels. The semiconductors generate electric voltage without using any moving parts (this is one of the reasons that solar energy systems require very little maintenance or repairs). The electricity created is direct current (DC). A power converter, also known as an inverter, changes the direct current to alternating current (AC) for use in a home. Many solar power systems will also contain a battery to retain voltage for later use and during times when the PV cells lose efficiency.

Solar power continues to advance, and the current technology of PV panels allows for the effective and efficient generation of enough electrical power to run an entire home. Solar panels are not ideal for every house, but you may be surprised to discover how flexible they are. Although solar installation is more expensive than more traditional power systems, the savings are immense (remember, the energy of the Sun is free) and the longevity and low maintenance and repair costs will increase your savings. Best of all, you’ll contribute to a greener future for the planet.

Sound Heating is proud to help people in the Greater Puget Sound Area find solar solutions for their homes. Contact us to learn how we can help you harness the Sun’s power for your household.

The Benefits of Going Solar in Bellevue

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Solar power used to run a home once existed only in science fiction. But the technology is here, today, and more accessible than you may believe. More homes have joined in the solar energy revolution and reaped the enormous benefits this power source provides.

To schedule solar installation in Bellevue, WA you only have to reach as far as the phone: call Sound Heating, where we take pride in the variety of solar power services we provide—from installation to maintenance to repair. We are committed to helping the environment and helping you reduce the amount you pay to power your home.

The Advantages of Using Solar Power In Your Home

  • Rock-bottom energy bills: Solar power systems change the radiant energy of the sun into electricity to power a home; the systems themselves use only a small amount of external electricity from the power company (and some use none at all). The energy of the sun itself is free, so aside from the minimal amount of electricity from the power grid, you won’t pay anything to run your home. Even though a solar energy set-up costs more to install for a home than standard electrical one, it soon pays for itself. Nothing beats free when it comes to energy.
  • Increase your home’s value: The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory conducted a study of homes using solar power and found that when a home adds a solar power system, it increases the home’s resale value by $5.50 per watt on average, and sometimes going as high as $6.40 per watt. This means that a home’s solar power system of 3.1kW can add $17,000 to the value of the house. Other studies have found that homes with solar energy induce buyers: homes sell 15% faster on average than homes with standard power systems.
  • Clean, renewable energy: Not only is the power from the sun free, you can never use it up. As long as the sun burns at the center of our solar system, we will have its power available to us. Solar power reduces our dependency on limited energy resources like fossil fuels. Solar power also reduces greenhouse gases. The average U.S. home generates 7.4 tons of carbon dioxide each year; solar power generates almost none.

If you don’t think you are ready for a major solar installation, you can start small with a less expensive and space-consuming appliance like a solar water heater. But we think that once you discover the benefits of a single solar power system, you will want to expand your use of the sun’s free energy.

Talk to our Bellevue, WA solar installation professionals at Sound Heating today. They will find the best way to hook up your home to harness the clean and efficient energy of the sun.

Heating: Room Temperature Does Not Match Thermostat Setting

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Most of your heating and air conditioning system components are tucked away out of view, and you have little interaction with them. Your thermostat, however, is one of the most important parts of your HVAC system, and by far the component that you have the most face time with. When you are unable to operate your thermostat successfully, it can be quite frustrating. The Bellevue, WA heating professionals at Sound Heating & Air Conditioning know that you depend on your thermostat year round to accurately control temperatures in your home. Here are a few reasons why the temperature in your home may not match that of your thermostat setting.

If your thermostat is not able to accurately read the temperature in your home, it will not be able to regulate it properly either. It is possible that your thermostat is dirty inside, which can affect its reading of the temperature. Remove the cover on your thermostat, and use a soft brush to gently remove and dust, dirt or other debris that may have accumulated therein.

It is also possible that some corrosion has taken place within your thermostat. If this is the case, the electrical contacts in the thermostat may not be operating properly. By using an electronic contact cleaner you can resolve this problem in some cases. If the thermostat is outdated anyway, though, you may just want to consider replacing it.

The installation of your thermostat is very important in determining the success of its operation. If your thermostat is too close to the ground, or is located close to windows or in direct sunlight, it may not operate properly. Make sure that your thermostat is in an area that is actually indicative of the true temperature in the room. For more tips on using your thermostat properly, give us a call.

At Sound Heating, our Bellevue WA heating technicians have the answers to any thermostat questions you may have. Contact us today to learn more. Get the best performance possible from your air conditioning and heating equipment by communicating with it successfully. A great thermostat is integral to achieving that goal.

Frequently Asked Heating Questions

Monday, April 15th, 2013

A professionally installed and maintained heater is a technological marvel. Today’s furnaces, boilers, and heat pumps are highly efficient, and they perform well under even the coldest winter temperatures. But homeowners throughout the Bellevue, WA area often ask about their home heating systems. We understand that you probably have some questions and concerns about how your heater operates. We believe a well-informed client is a good thing: it allows you to identify problems before they become serious, and it gives you some info to impress your friends and family. We’d like to address some frequently asked heating questions in this post. For more information, or to schedule a Bellevue WA heating service, contact the experts at Sound Heating today!

  • What is a programmable thermostat? If you haven’t yet taken advantage of a digital programmable thermostat, then you’re missing out on fully customizable temperature control as well as improved energy efficiency, up to $180 per year, according to the EPA. A programmable thermostat is not only more accurate, but it allows you to create a schedule for your heating and cooling systems, so that you don’t pay for unnecessary energy usage while staying comfortable.
  • Is there anything I can do to maintain my heater? Yes! You can start by cleaning and replacing your air filter at least once a month during the peak heating season. The air filter is responsible for preventing dust and debris accumulation, both of which can negatively impact the efficiency and effectiveness of your heater. You can also make sure to keep and the area surrounding your heater clean and clear.
  • What’s a heat pump? A heat pump is a highly efficient heat transfer machine. Unlike a furnace, the heat pump draws on the ambient thermal energy of the outside air, which is available even during cold temperatures. It works just like an air conditioner, except that instead of only being able to remove heat from your home, it also works the other way. However, it can become inefficient at temperatures below 35°, so people often pair a furnace with a heat pump to maximize performance and efficiency.

To reach a Bellevue, WA heating specialist, feel free to contact Sound Heating today!

Heating Tip: What is a Hydronic Heating System?

Monday, December 17th, 2012

Are you constructing a new house or renovating your existing home? Is it time to start thinking about the installation of your new home heating system? Before you make any decisions about the way in which you will keep your home warm and cozy we recommend that you take a few minutes to learn a little bit about hydronic heating systems. These quiet, efficient heating systems will make a great addition to your Bellevue home. Contact Sound Heating and Air Conditioning today if you would like to learn more about the benefits of hydronic heating or to schedule installation service.

A hydronic heating system uses hot water or another heat transfer liquid to warm your home using radiant heat. This means that rather than distributing air the way a forced air system does objects themselves are heated. A system of tubing is installed below your floor, in your walls or along baseboards to spread the radiant heat throughout your home.

Because of the piping necessary to take advantage of a hydronic heating system the installation can be labor intensive for existing homes. If, however, you are building a new home or doing renovations it is the perfect time for a hydronic heating system installation. A boiler is used to heat the water or liquid, and the heated liquid is sent all throughout your home to keep the entire building warm.’

There are many benefits to using a hydronic heating system. They are virtually silent, and they do not use ductwork to distribute air, eliminating the energy loss common with forced air systems. They also allow for easy zone control integration, further boosting efficiency and convenience.

If you are interested in the installation of a hydronic heating system in your Bellevue contact us today. We will be happy to discuss your options with you. Let Sound Heating and Air Conditioning help you find the right home heating option for needs and personal habits.

Myths about Solar Energy in Seattle

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Have you ever heard…

  • Solar panels don’t work in cold places
  • They are ugly and bulky and drive down property values
  • Solar panels break when it snows or hails

There are countless myths like the ones above about solar energy and how effective it can be for your Seattle home depending on where you live or what type of climate you have. However, most of these myths are just that – falsehoods and rumors spread from the days when solar power wasn’t a very effective energy source.

These days, solar energy is increasingly efficient and works in almost any climate if properly installed. Here are some other common myths you might hear about this popular alternative energy source.

  1. Too Expensive – While it is true that solar power is expensive, it is dropping in price rapidly. The cost of manufacturing has dropped to such that the cost per watt is between $5 and $8 – an all-time low. On top of that, most state governments and the federal government offer general rebates and tax incentives for having solar power installed.
  2. Constant Maintenance – If you want constant maintenance, stick with your fossil fuel based heating and energy sources. Solar panels and heating systems require less frequent maintenance than most other systems and last for up to 25 years.
  3. Inconsistency – Older solar panels were less efficient, only capturing 1-5% of the energy emitted by the sun. These days, solar panels are much better at capturing solar energy – ranging from 11% to a whopping 20% capture rate, which means they are incredibly effective, even in bad weather. For the record, that’s the same energy capture rate as your gasoline fueled car, but with none of the emissions.
  4. Making Back the Investment – Solar investment recuperation used to be a long process. These days, however, solar panels increase the value of your home, decrease your annual costs and give you peace of mind. The usual payback time is down to less than 20 years and even less if you sell your home.

Solar energy is one of the most efficient and effective ways to power your Seattle home today, despite the myths. Make sure you read more about it before making any big decisions.

For more information on solar energy for your Seattle home, give Sound Heating & Air Conditioning a call!