Sound Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Heating Installation’

Options for a New Heating System This Fall

Monday, October 5th, 2015

Summer is over, and winter is on the horizon. That means it is time to start thinking about how you are going to keep your home warm during the heating season. If you are one of the many homeowners looking for a new home heating system, there are a wide variety of options available to you. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular home heating options, and the advantages they offer.

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Options for Hydronic Heating Systems

Friday, December 12th, 2014

People have kept themselves warm with hot water for a millennia, but it wasn’t until about a 100 years ago that use of hot water was harnessed to heat entire homes. What are we talking about? Hydronic heating systems: systems that use hot water, or its byproduct, steam, to heat your home. Lots of innovations have happened over the last century in the heating industry, giving homeowners lots of choices when it comes to home heating.

If you’ve decided that hot water is the way you’d like to heat your home, you have a few choices for outlets:


Radiators have been the staple outlet for hydronic systems since boilers were first produced. Radiators are still great for providing heat, and these days you can choose from a wide variety of styles to fit just about any home. Conventional radiators are the types with “ribs” – tubes that carry the hot water or steam through the radiator and release the heat. Radiators heat effectively and do so gently. Air bubbles can develop in radiator so it’s important to release the air once a year to ensure air lock doesn’t occur.

Baseboard Heating

Baseboard heating works similarly to radiators, but the configuration of the outlet itself is different from a standing radiator. As the name suggests, baseboard heaters are placed on the floor and are part of the baseboard of the room it’s placed in. The piping has fins attached so that when the hot water or steam flows through the pipe, the fins can radiate heat along with the pipe, similar to the ribs of a conventional radiator. The piping and fins are covered, and there are many types of baseboard covers available to complement your décor.

Radiant Heating

Hot water or steam can also be used in radiant heating. With radiant heating, flexible PEX tubing is installed onto subflooring and the hot water or steam flows through, heating the floor above it. Radiant panels for walls and ceilings can also be hydronic, but electricity is preferred. As with radiators and baseboard heating, circulating pumps push the water through the system.

Hydronic systems offer a gentle, comfortable heat for your home. If you think a hydronic heating system is a fit for your home, call Sound Heating today and schedule your heating installation in Tacoma with one of our HVAC experts!

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How to Maximize Your Energy Efficiency this Winter with a New Heater

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Here in Tacoma, heating installation is not a causal undertaking. Our winters are cold enough to demand a reliable heating system at all times, and considering the costs involved, you want your existing unit to last as long as possible. Sooner or later, however, even the most durable heater needs to be replaced. A new heater can make a difference in numerous ways, not the least of which is an improved energy efficiency in your home. Here’s how to maximize your energy efficiency this winter with a new heater.

The very act of buying a new heater will probably help you make better use of your resources, since it probably works more efficiently as a matter of course. More specifically, you should look for a heater with a high AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating, measured as a percentage. The higher the percentage, the more energy is being used to actually heat your home. New heaters tend to have a higher AFUE than old ones, and you can “cheat” a bit by selecting a heater with the EnergyStar label (denoting units with particularly high AFUE ratings).

In addition, it’s very important to size your heater properly, with about 50 BTUs (British Thermal Units) or heating power for every square foot you need heated. (The specifics can vary depending on things like insulation and sunlight exposure, so let an expert make your calculations for you.) If the heater’s too small it will work too hard without warming your home. If it’s too large, it will cycle on and off rapidly, wasting heat in the process. Maximum energy efficiency can be achieved only if your heater is sized just right for your home.

These are just general tips showing you how to maximize your energy efficiency this winter with a new heater. For more specific plans on how to maximize your energy efficiency this winter with a new heater, call the Tacoma heating installation specialists at Sound Heating. We’re based in Tacoma, heating installation is part of our area of expertise and we’re dedicated to making sure your new heater gets the maximum amount of bang for your buck. Give us a call today and let us show you what we can do!

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How to Choose a New Heating System for Your Home

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Winter is crawling toward us, and will strike before we know it. You will need  an efficient and dependable heater working in your home to keep you warm and safe until spring. If you have considered getting a new heating system installed (perhaps your old one is dying, or you have just built a new home), now is the best time to act. You will need professional assistance for this job, and HVAC technicians have less crowded schedules during the fall.

The reason you need to have experts helping from the start, and not just during installation, is that the many choices of heating systems available can feel overwhelming. You want to make a correct choice for installation so you can have many worry-free years of warmth. Our Tacoma, WA heating installation specialists at Sound Heating have some advice about how to go about choosing your new heating system, and they are ready to answer any other questions you may have.

One of the first things to consider when it comes to getting a new heater is your available fuel supply. Do you have a hook-up to natural gas? Did your last heater run from propane or oil? Is electricity your sole power supply option? Your home’s available fuel will help you narrow down your choices.

Next, think about the heating requirements of your house. How large is it, and how many people live there? Do you have adequate insulation? Did your last heater wear down fast because it had trouble getting the whole house warm? These are tough questions to answer yourself—or least in a way that will seem meaningful when picking a heater on your own. HVAC professionals can perform a heat load calculation, a complex equation that balances a multitude of factors about your home, to arrive at the size of heater you’ll need and what kind will work best for you.

Third, consider your budget goals. Some heating models cost less to install, but may require a greater number of repairs and lead to higher energy bills in the future. Some expensive models will end up saving you money with great efficiency levels. This will tie into the information from the heat load calculation so you can zero in on the heater that will give you the most value for your money.

Sound Heating installs furnaces, heat pumps, boilers, zone systems, and ground source heat pumps. With this variety available, we can locate the system that will provide your home with the best warmth this winter. Call on us for heating installation service in Tacoma, WA, and we’ll get you started along the road toward a cozy season.

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Heating Installation Tip: Load Calculations

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Do you ever feel that your Kent home just doesn’t get cool enough during the warm months or warm enough during the cold months? You have tried to adjust your thermostat to the right comfort level but it just never seems right. And on top of that, you notice that your utility bills keep going up and up. Even when you dial up the thermostat in the summer and dial it down in the winter to saving on energy usage, your bills are still about the same.

You could try adding fans and shedding clothes during the warm months or wearing sweaters and crawling under a pile of blankets in the cold months. But do you really enjoy living that way? There must be another solution as to why your heating and cooling (HVAC) system is just not keeping you comfortable – and affordable.

That air conditioning condensing unit sitting in your backyard and the furnace in your basement should be making your home as comfortable as possible. But in many cases, they are not. That’s because whoever installed those HVAC system components didn’t do their homework on your home. The components were sized incorrectly. If a furnace or air conditioner is sized incorrectly, it usually cannot keep up with the demand for heat or cold and often puts such a burden on the equipment. As a result, regular failures and repair bills are commonplace.

And it may not be the fault of the installing HVAC contractor. Over the years your home may have undergone renovations including additions and new windows, which have increased the square footage or demand for more heating or cooling. Those renovations may not have included upgrades to your home’s HVAC system.

So how do you check for the right size? Call a Kent HVAC contractor and ask for an energy audit for your home. The audit will include several key checks including a load calculation, which adds in the size of your home’s living space, number of door and windows where heat loss or gain could occur, and a check of heat loss or gain through leakage in cracks, roofs, crawlspaces, etc. An energy audit will determine what size of furnace or air conditioner is needed to meet the heating or cooling needs of your home and its own individual characteristics. Your HVAC contractor may also factor in the number of building occupants and normal usage patterns, i.e. having a home office or stay-at-home parent versus a working family where your home is occupied mostly at nights or on weekends.

All of these factors are considered when determining the equipment size. In air conditioning jargon, you will hear about tonnage of cooling capacity. An example may be a 2.5 ton air conditioning unit for a 2,000 square foot home. In furnace jargon, you will learn about Btu ratings, which are British thermal units. Most furnaces are sized in 20-25,000 Btu increments. Each is matched to the cooling or heating needs of your home. Your HVAC contractor will likely recommend using a programmable thermostat, too. That way, you can set the temperature of one or more zones in your home to when each zone is occupied.

Make sure you don’t hire someone who “guesstimates” how much cooling or heating capacity you need for your home. Find a qualified professional who will make the correct calculations and who will qualify their recommendations. A properly sized HVAC system will equate to manageable utility bills and above average indoor comfort. You can live with that.

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Heating Installation Tip: Pros and Cons of Various Heating Systems

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

When it comes time to install a new heating system in your Tumwater home, there are a lot of options to consider. Many people get overwhelmed when confronted with all of the furnaces, boilers and heat pumps on the market these days. So, to help you get a handle on what each has to offer and which will offer you the best benefits, here is an overview of the modern heating system market.


Furnaces are the core of a forced air heating system and use gas, oil or electricity to heat air which is then circulated through your home by a blower in your air handler. Furnaces are among the most fuel efficient heating systems on the market today with options available at up to 95% AFUE (meaning it uses up to 95% of the fuel consumed to produce heat). They are also inexpensive to install and while they don’t last quite as long as boilers, they are highly efficient when well cared for.


Boilers use gas, oil or electricity to heat water or steam which is then circulated through your home into radiators or baseboard heaters. The heated water or steam releases heat into your home and heats it in turn. While not quite as energy efficient as a high efficiency furnace, boiler heat is perfect for homes with existing radiators and no room for vents and ductwork. It also has less of an impact on indoor air quality since there is no air movement and boilers tend to last a very long time when well maintained.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular, especially in milder climates where it rarely gets below 40 degrees F. A heat pump uses the same technology as an air conditioner to extract heat from outside using a compressor, evaporator coils, and condenser coils with refrigerant.

It is most efficient in the spring and fall when temperatures are mild, but it uses much less energy than either a boiler or furnace and it can be used in the summer to cool your home. When properly maintained, a heat pump will last 10-20 years and save quite a bit of money, though it is recommended that you have an emergency heat source for days when the temperature outside gets below 40 degrees F.

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Hydronic Heating Installation: Another Satisfied Customer!

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

We try hard to provide high quality work on everything we do, as D. Edwards in Puyallup knows! Here is what he wrote to us about his hydronic heating installation:

Your company did an amazing job!!! It’s not very often I’m impressed with somebody’s work. But today I’m impressed!!!! You guys made the price work and then did a very professional job on the install. I will highly recommend you to everyone I know.

– D. Edwards

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Testimonial – C. Stewart from Tacoma

Monday, November 21st, 2011

C. Stewarts had a great experience with our furnace installation team; here is what she wrote to us:

I want to thank you for everything you’ve done to help me get a working furnace (and air conditioner) into my home. I couldn’t be more pleased. The crew that came to my house yesterday were wonderful! I was very impressed by their work ethic, professionalism, and sincerity. Plus… they were just nice. And… they left the area cleaner than when they found it. I can’t wait to spread the word about the terrific service I received from Sound Heating. Thank you so much!!

– C. Stewart

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Pros & Cons of Heat Pumps: A Guide from Bonney Lake

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

When deciding on any major purchase in Bonney Lake, a critical step is to weigh the pros and cons. This helps you to decide on the best option and reach the best decision for your needs and preferences.

Installing a new heating system is a perfect example of a situation in which you would need to weigh pros and cons. There are a lot of options, and not all of them are right for all people. Take heat pumps, for example. They are great devices and serve many people extremely well as home heating solutions, but they are not without their drawbacks. Below are some of the pros and cons of heat pumps to help you decide whether a heat pumps if the way to go for you.


  1. Inclusive – A heat pump not only heats your home in the winter but also cools it in the summer, thanks to a reversing valve that changes the flow of the refrigerant. Having one appliance for both heating and cooling can be very convenient.
  2. Energy efficient – Heat pumps are extraordinarily efficient when it comes to energy use. Because they simply move and distribute heat, rather than producing any on their own, they use minimal electricity.
  3. Simple – Operating on the same basic principles as your refrigerator or an air conditioner, heat pumps are relatively simple. More importantly, they simplify your life by putting your heating and cooling solutions in one package and running on electricity, so you don’t need any other fuels on hand.
  4. Inexpensive to operate – In addition to being energy efficient – which lowers your monthly energy bills – many heat pumps are eligible for federal tax credit. You can save a bundle by using a heat pump.


  1. May need supplementing in cold climates – In climates where winter temperatures stay below 30 degrees Fahrenheit for a while at a stretch, a heat pump will have trouble keeping up and need to be supplemented.
  2. Don’t work in power outage – Obviously, because they are powered by electricity, a heat pump won’t work in a power outage, unlike some other heating solutions that do not require electricity.

Although the pros clearly outweigh the cons here, the cons are important as well. Carefully consider all these factors and more while deciding whether a heat pump is the solution for you.

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