Posts Tagged ‘Kent’

Tips to Keep Your Furnace in Good Shape

Monday, December 4th, 2017

furnaceWinter is here! Okay, well not quite—but with the way our temperatures are dropping it may as well be. In order to fully prepare for the change in the weather, it’s important to schedule services such as heating system maintenance and subsequent Kent, WA furnace repair, if needed. If you haven’t scheduled your maintenance appointment yet, now is the time to do so!

Getting maintenance performed on your furnace before the coldest of the weather arrives will ensure that its ready to do its job to its fullest ability all winter long. When you sign up for our maintenance plan, you can rest assured that your heating system is prepared to do exactly that. This is the best way to keep your furnace in good shape! (more…)

Don’t Forget to Schedule Your Heating Tune-Up

Monday, October 23rd, 2017

female hand filling out a date on her scheduleWhen we recommend an annual tune-up for your furnace, we understand that it’s an easy suggestion to dismiss. Unless something is obviously wrong with your system—for instance, you can’t get any heat from in on a chilly winter day—then you may be tempted to hold off on calling a technician, particularly if your heating system was working fine last year. However, just like maintenance for your car fends off problems, routine heating maintenance is important for the prevention of the most severe furnace repairs in Kent, WA.

As professional heating specialists, we believe it’s our duty to explain to you why regular tune-ups are so important. For more information, reach out to our team and schedule your next maintenance appointment. In the meantime, keep reading to learn more about the importance of this service. (more…)

Why Should I Invest in Solar Installation?

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Solar power has been the source of great debate since its inception. Arguments have raged from company board rooms all the way up to the floor of the senate about whether or not solar energy will be the technology that finally frees us of our reliance on fossil fuels. Though that debate is still going on, one thing is certain: solar energy can absolutely save money at the individual level. If you have never looked into installing solar technology in your home, now is the time to consider it. Let’s take a look at why you should invest in solar installation.

What is Solar Energy?

As you probably already know, solar technology involves harvesting the sun’s thermal energy and using it to power some of the home’s appliances. This is done through the installation of solar panels, either on the roof of the home or adjacent to it. The exact details of solar installation are dependent on the individual home, and will vary. What matters, though, is that solar panels themselves are incredibly resilient. They don’t need to be cleaned more than once every few months. They are built to be resistant to inclement weather, up to and including hail. These are devices that are meant to spend their lifespans outside, and their design reflects that.

How Much Can I Save?

This is usually the first question that people ask when they’re considering investing in solar energy. The answer is: it depends. How much money you save with solar energy will depend largely on the size of the system you install. If you are committed to solar energy, you could actually install a system large enough to cover your home’s entire energy bill. Once the system had paid itself off with savings from the monthly bills, any money it saved after that would go right into your pocket. Over the course of a decade or two, you could save tens of thousands of dollars by eliminating your monthly energy bill.

If you’d like to know more about why you should invest in solar installation, call Sound Heating. We provide professional solar installation throughout Kent, WA.

What Are the Advantages of Installing a Tankless Water Heater?

Friday, June 20th, 2014

The old-fashioned style of water heater that uses a large tank of water to which heat from natural gas or electric heating elements is continually applied is so… old fashioned. There’s a new way to provide hot water for your home that removes the tank and gives you many advantages to take its place: the tankless water heater.

There are many reasons you should consider a tankless water heater in Kent, WA for your next installation. If you need more advice about going this route, talk to Sound Heating today. We install top-brand Rinnai tankless water heaters, which can fit a variety of household sizes and budgets. Call our specialists today to find out more about the tankless water heater edge.

The main advantages of a tankless water heater

  • Never run out of hot water: If someone going with a lukewarm or cold shower in the morning is a common occurrence in your household, then you should consider a tankless system. Because a tankless water heater only heats up water when it’s needed (a reason they are sometimes called “on-demand” water heaters), you never have to worry about running out of your supply of hot water. As soon as a tap turns, the heat exchanger in the system goes to work warming the water.
  • Save energy: A standard storage water heater must apply constant energy to the tank to maintain the necessary 120° –140° water temperature. It uses this energy whether you need the water or not. With a tankless system, you only use energy when you turn on a tap indicating that you need hot water. You’ll end up using only a fraction of the energy necessary for a storage system, and you can expect your heating bills to decrease by 20–35%.
  • Longer system lifespan: Less energy used to heat water also means a system with less wear and tear placed on it. Tankless systems can last many more years than a storage system, and that means you’ll have more years to earn savings on your initial investment.
  • Save space: Because storage systems need to use a large water tank, they take up far more space than a tankless system, which are often small enough to mount on a wall. Some can even go outside with and anti-freeze kit.

There are a few drawbacks to tankless systems: they cost more to install upfront than storage systems, and your level of savings will depend on the amount of water your household uses regularly. Consult with experts to find out if a tankless water heater in Kent, WA is the right choice for your home. Our team at Sound Heating is ready to help you, and we will install your new system so it works for many years.

3 Factors Necessary for Solar Panels in Your Home

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Solar panel technology has advanced in leaps and bounds in the past few years, and here in Kent, WA, solar installation has become an increasingly popular option for powering your home. You may be considering a solar panel array for your own home, but before you pull the trigger, you need to know the sorts of issues your home and property may present. That will help you make an informed decision and ensure that your solar panels do their job as they should.

Here are 3 factors necessary for solar panels in your home

  • Square footage. Solar panels need a fair bit of space to function, the exact amount of which depends on the power you wish to generate. In most cases, you can fit them on your roof. Otherwise, you’ll need to place them in your yard or some other outdoor location. In either case, you need a technician to determine just how many square feet of solar panels is required. Otherwise, your home won’t receive enough power from the system and the whole point of installing solar panels will be lost.
  • Sunlight exposure. Modern solar panels don’t need to worry about cloudy days (a good thing here in overcast Washington). They do still require an unobstructed view of the sky, however, with an eye on maximum exposure during the day. If you have tall trees or similar obstructions, talk to an installation technician about your options, and whether some new landscaping is in order.
  • Maintenance factors. Solar panels don’t have moving parts, so maintaining them isn’t difficult. They do require cleaning from time to time, however, and occasionally repairs must be conducted. If you have a sloped roof or intend to place your panels in some other tricky locale, make sure you can access them safely.

As you may suspect, the advice of a trained professional can help when pondering the factors necessary for solar panels in your home.  In Kent, WA, solar installation can be performed by the experts at Sound Heating. Pick up the phone and call us today to make an appointment!

Heat Pump Tip: SEER vs. HSPF

Monday, August 20th, 2012

When it comes to Bellevue heat pumps, there are two different ratings you’ll often see – the SEER and the HSPF. So, what does each of them mean and which rating is more important when purchasing your new device? Here are a few things to consider:

 SEER

The acronym SEER is short for “seasonal energy efficiency rating” and is used most commonly to measure air conditioner efficiency or in this case, the cooling capacity of your heat pump.

 HSPF

The HSPF is short for “heating seasonal performance factor” and is a measurement of how efficient the heat pump is in producing heat during the cooler months of the year.

 The Difference Between the Two

Every heat pump will have both of these ratings, allowing you to see how efficient each is. This is important because you need to know for certain how well your heat pump will perform under certain situations – both in the winter and summer.

However, if you live in a colder climate where the summer rarely calls for air conditioner, your focus should be on the HSPF first. And if you live in a warmer climate where your heating needs are minimal, the SEER is most important. Another thing to consider is your supplemental heat. If the cost of your supplemental heating system is high, you’ll want an HSPF that is as low as possible to balance it out.

 Choosing an Efficient Heat Pump

Heat pump efficiency directly impacts the price of the device you purchase but is almost always worth the difference. The key is to find a device that provides what you need based on where you live. Keep in mind as well that, like most HVAC upgrades, you won’t immediately recoup the cost of the device in your energy savings, so if you plan on moving soon, you should purchase a more affordable device now and upgrade later.

Purchasing a new heat pump for your Bellevue home is an important step in making it more energy efficient. If you are unsure which rating you need or how to analyze their meanings, contact a professional to learn more.

The Most Effective Environmentally Friendly Heating Methods

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Protecting the environment is a priority for many Puyallup homeowners these days. The problem is that it can’t be as a high a priority as heating your home. Sure, you want your home to be environmentally friendly, but you need it to be warm.

So, it seems you are forced to run your electric or fuel-powered furnace as much as is necessary and hope that it’s not too much for the environment — or your wallet — to take.

Beyond the traditional heating methods of electricity, gas, oil and what have you, there are some alternatives out on the market these days that can keep your home warm while also being green.

Geothermal

One solution is geothermal heat, which harnesses the natural heat of the Earth to warm your home. Pipes filled with coolant run through the ground outside your home, absorbing the warmth of the Earth. Then, the warm coolant is pumped into your home through a network of pipes that radiate heat.

This method is effective and requires no additional fuel or energy.

Micro Combined Heat and Power (MCHP) Systems

Relatively new to the game are so-called MCHP systems. These heating systems have on-board power generators with high-efficiency computer modules attached. The power module interfaces with the thermostat, calling for heat when necessary. That activates the generator system, which quietly and efficiently generates all the necessary power to run the heater.

These systems are incredibly efficient and can slash the cost of your heating bill. As an added benefit, they continue to work during power outages, which has obvious utility in areas that experience harsh winter storms.

Solar

Then, of course, there is the most obvious and readily available source of heat to the whole planet: the sun. Solar heating systems can be either active or passive, which essentially just depends on whether additional specialized equipment is to be installed.

Obviously, solar heating systems are a better choice for areas that get a lot of sunlight year round.

Whichever environmentally friendly heating solution you choose, they have the added benefit of lowering your heating bill, which is always welcome.  If you have any questions about these environmentally friendly heating methods please contact Sound Heat & AC

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.

Is Your Kent Home More Valuable with Energy Efficient Appliances?

Monday, November 28th, 2011

It’s impressive the things people do to improve the value of their Kent home. We’re talking about crown molding, new floors, new siding, upgrades to the landscaping and much more. The cost of upgrading these things can grow out of hand quickly and if the boost to your home’s value isn’t equally exponential, it’s hard to justify the expense.

So, it’s always nice to find a simple upgrade that can be performed for a few hundred dollars that will save you money immediately and improve the value of your home in the future. Your appliances are one such upgrade.

The Value of Energy Efficiency

An energy efficient washing machine can save upwards of $150 per year on water costs. An energy efficient toilet cuts consumption by as much as 150%. Low flow shower heads cut water costs by one third to one half and your heating and air conditioning systems can be improved by 10-35% depending on the upgrades available to you.

When you add up all those savings, the result is a tremendous amount of money that can be saved each year on everything from your water bill to your cooling needs. Imagine what happens when someone looks to buy your home. They see that there are all new appliances with energy efficient ratings that will save them money.

It’s not just lower bills; it’s a decrease in upfront investment. On the surface, it’s unlikely that your energy efficient appliances will directly increase the value of your home, but they can increase the likelihood of someone paying what you’re asking for the home. They add value to the livability of the home, if not the property itself and in today’s housing market, that’s a major plus.

Best Upgrades

The best upgrades to your home’s appliances are the ones that save money without additional work. Water saving appliances should top your list since they are used throughout the year. A new toilet, a new washing machine, a new shower head and sink faucets all designed to cut down on water use are valuable upgrades. Major upgrades to your heating and cooling are good if you need an upgrade anyway or you plan on staying in your home for a few years.

Get the Best Value From Your Contractor in Tukwila

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

When looking for the best value from a Tukwila service provider, it is best to understand what value means to you. The dictionary defines value as “a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged.”

In the case of a mechanical contractor, customers are looking for value in the quality of the replacement or newly installed parts or equipment. For example, if your contractor gives you the choice of a product that is warranted for five years versus one that is warranted for ten years – and the price for the longer warranty is within reason, it may be more valuable to choose the product with the longer warranty. It may cost more initially but it is less likely to be serviced as much and will last longer.

Similarly, your contractor may offer a value proposition which includes a “good,” “better,” “best” scenario for the product you are shopping for. You may choose from any of the three based on the amount of time you plan to live in your home or the level of comfort or convenience that you are accustomed to. And, if you choose a “good” product over a “best” product, it may diminish the value of your house when it comes time to sell.

Any good contractor who gives you these choices is one who is giving you the best value.

When it comes to service, there are also value choices, too. For example, how important is it to you to work with a contractor who values your time? Today, time can be just as important as money and is certainly a value consideration. One contractor may only be able to give you a large window of time when his company will be able to serve you, say 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Is it worth your time or someone else’s to wait?  It may cost a little more but is it worth it to you? The answer is likely to be yes; and this adds a value to the contractor who respects your time.

The true value of a contractor lies in the equipment he sells, the service he provides, and the peace-of-mind and time savings you get in return.