Posts Tagged ‘Gibsonton’

Boyette Heat Pump Repair Tip: Signs You Should Replace Your Heat Pump

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

The decision to replace major equipment can be a difficult one. How do you know when to call it quits on a part of your Boyette heating and cooling system that is as important as the heat pump?

Here are some signs that you should replace your heat pump:

  • If your heat pumps is making significantly more noise than it used to, it can be sign of major mechanical distress. Many times, replacement is the best solution.
  • Some components of a heat pump cost as much or more to repair as the whole unit does to replace. These components may include the compressor, the outdoor coil, the accumulator and the reversing valve. Once one of these goes, you are often better off replacing the heat pump than the broken component. Additionally, when repairs become so frequent as to no longer be cost effective, it’s a good time to replace the equipment.
  • A malfunctioning heat pump can cause problems with the humidity in your home. This is not a definitive indicator, but if you notice the humidity level rising in your home, you may need a heat pump replacement.
  • Any time your energy bill rises without a significant increase in usage, faulty or failing equipment is one of the top suspects. Your heat pump could very well be the culprit.
  • If you notice a cooling imbalance, such as rooms being too warm while others are too cool, your heat pump may be close to breaking.
  • Finally, if your heat pump is ten or more years old, replacing it is a good idea, even if it seems to be working fine. A new model will be much more efficient and chances are that the old one is headed for a major breakdown soon.

Keep in mind that these are not always definitive signs that your heat pump is done for good. Also, some of these may occur in combination. For example, you may have an old heat pump that is making a lot of noise and causing humidity problems.

Consult with Baker & Sons for full diagnostics before making the decision to replace any major household equipment.

Essential Components of a Gibsonton Home Comfort System

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Indoor comfort is defined by several factors: temperature, humidity, and air quality. If any one of the three is out of the “normal” range it can affect the quality of life in your Gibsonton home.

The ultimate goal of any heating & cooling contractor is to ensure that customers are comfortable – meaning that all three factors are addressed when servicing, replacing, or installing new equipment in a home. This equipment includes furnaces and air conditioners but also extends to electronic filters, ultraviolet (UV) lighting, etc.

Obviously, the essential component for most U.S. households is a furnace. Air conditioners may not be essential for all parts of the U.S., namely the northern states, but are still considered an integral part of any home comfort system. Add-ons like electronic filters are important for controlling the air quality.

Let’s look at the furnace first. There are several choices but most can be found in two different classifications: single-stage or variable speed two-stage. Your choice depends on the indoor square footage, your own comfort needs, and possibly the cost of energy units (gas or electric for example). Forced air is a common method of moving heated air to all parts of the home via an air handling unit and through a duct system. But gaining in popularity is radiant heat (electric), which does not utilize a duct system.

Air conditioners also come in a variety of sizes, including window/room air conditioners or central air conditioning, which is likely a “split” system including an outdoor unit and indoor coil. The size of the air conditioner is determined by square footage, which is part of a load calculation performed by qualified heating & cooling contractors while planning the equipment replacement or new installation. An oversized air conditioner may produce high humidity levels and an undersized unit may not provide enough cooling to all areas of the home. High humidity levels contribute to higher indoor temperatures in the summer, and can also lead to respiratory problems.

If someone in your home has allergies or is sensitive to certain pollutants in the air, it may be important to include extra filtration in your heating & cooling system, such as electronic filtration and UV lighting mounted in the buildings duct system, to kill germs and contaminants.

And speaking of an essential component, duct systems are keys to maximizing efficiency and comfort. Properly sized, insulated, and sealed, the duct system is a key to comfortable, healthy indoor air – and energy efficiency. It is also important to keep your duct system clean, too.

As always, it is best to consult with a qualified and licensed heating and cooling contractor who can offer the best solutions for your home comfort system.

What Is an Air Source Heat Pump? A Guide from South Sarasota

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Most heating systems have as their main component some sort of heat generator. These machines generate heat through some form of combustion, which obviously converts energy directly to heat, which is then distributed throughout your South Sarasota home. That’s a pretty simplified schematic explanation, but that’s more or less how most heating systems work.

Air source heat pumps are another type of heating solution; one that does not actually produce or generate any actual heat. There is no combustion. What an air source heat pump (ASHP) does instead is regulate the temperature of the home by essentially moving air around.

An air source heat pump use electricity to exchange indoor and outdoor air. Think of it like a more versatile air conditioner. In cooling mode, like an air conditioner, an ASHP will pump warm air from the inside out, using a system of refrigerant-filled coils and a compressor. By turning the ASHP to heating mode, the refrigerant flow is reversed, allowing the outdoor coils to extract heat from the outdoor air and pump it in higher concentrations to the inside.

If it seems like a simple system, that’s because it is. All the heat pump does is move heat either in or out, depending on what you need in the current season. Because this process generates no heat on its own, heat pumps can be very efficient. ASHP efficiency has been estimated at 150% to 300%, meaning that the heat energy produced is up to three times as much as the electricity used. That makes for a very efficient home heating and cooling solution.

Air source heat pumps are not necessarily right for every situation, however. In colder climates, where temperatures drop below 30 degrees Fahrenheit for stretches at a time, a heat pump will likely not be able to keep up on its own. In these situations, you may either need to supplement the ASHP with an additional heating source, or use a different system altogether. Newer so-called “cold climate” heat pumps may also be an option. Under ideal circumstances, an air source heat pump can act as a complete home heating system, as well as providing heat for hot water.

If you are looking for a simple and efficient home heating solution, look into whether an air source heat pump can work for you.

Is My Home as Comfortable as It Could Be? A Question From Gibsonton

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

When it comes to indoor comfort in your Gibsonton home, there are a surprising number of things you need to take into account. Of course, you need to have a good heating and cooling system in place so that you can easily maintain a comfortable indoor temperature all year round. But that really isn’t enough when you’re trying to create the optimal indoor environment. So what else do you need to consider?

Indoor Air Quality

You should take the time to have your indoor air quality checked by a professional. Indoor air pollutants are a growing problem, particularly in newer homes that are sealed up tight against the elements. These seals prevent all of your temperature conditioned air from escaping and make your home more energy efficient, but they also lead to inadequate ventilation and a buildup of things like gasses, dust mites, bacteria, mold spores and pet dander in your indoor air.

These are obviously not the types of things you want to breathe on a regular basis, so it’s a good idea to invest in ventilation and an indoor air quality system that can bring in a steady supply of fresh air from outside and remove any harmful contaminants from the air circulating through your home.

What to Look For When a Home is 10 Years Old: A Guide From Gibsonton

Monday, September 12th, 2011

A ten year old home in Gibsonton is likely to be in great condition, presuming the previous owner(s) treated it well. But, there are some things you should watch out for that can arise in newer constructions, even if they were treated well.

Poor Craftsmanship

While it is possible for a 100 year old home to have poorly crafted parts, it’s highly unlikely if the house is still intact and is being sold this long after it was built. Newer homes, however, wouldn’t show signs of cheap materials or shoddy work until a bit later in their life. That’s why it is important to pay for a thorough inspection of the property as soon as possible – definitely before it is purchased and possibly again afterwards to check for possible improvements.

Specific things you should check for include heating and cooling systems, the insulation and the drywall used. Especially in freshly renovated or built houses it’s impossible to be sure a home was built with the highest standards of modern craftsmanship.

Proper Maintenance

For a home that is only 10 years old, there is a good chance you can get the original records for the heating and cooling system, any appliances in the home and all maintenance performed on them since their installation. If not, don’t fret – a good technician will be able to easily check the status of a piece during an inspection.

Overall, if your new home is only 10 years old, you are likely in a very good place. The home will be in good condition, the parts will be new, and your heating and cooling system should be efficient. Original parts installed during construction may need to be replaced, but otherwise, if everything else checks out, you can count on having a comfortable, wonderful place to live for some years to come.

What is a Sun City Green Building?

Friday, August 5th, 2011

A green building, in Sun City or anywhere, is environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout its life-cycle, minimizing the building’s impact on human health and the natural environment.
Some of the criteria that can go into evaluating a green building include:

  • Location
  • Design
  • Construction
  • Operation
  • Maintenance
  • Renovation
  • Demolition

Of course, there are many different kinds of green buildings, each with its own particular strengths. Here are a few:

Buildings located in New Urbanist communities. New Urbanism is an urban design movement that promotes walkable neighborhoods with multi-use buildings so that residents can live, shop, and work within their local area. The goal is to promote community, reduce the amount of energy used for transportation, and reduce emissions from car travel.

Net-zero buildings. A net-zero building produces renewable energy equal to or greater than the energy the home consumes from public utilities. A net-zero building saves energy by being extremely energy efficient, and by generating its own renewable power using solar, wind, micro-hydro, or geothermal systems.

“Ultra-small” homes. Super-small houses (30 square meters and even smaller!) are a growing trend in home design. Tiny spaces dramatically reduce the occupants’ energy use – in some cases, the entire home can be run on the equivalent of a couple of light bulbs.

Buildings constructed with local, natural materials. Homes made of earth, straw bales, stone, stucco, and other natural materials are often cheaper to build and require much less gas for transporting
construction materials. They can also be extremely energy-efficient to operate because the building materials are suited to the climate.

Buildings constructed entirely or in part with reclaimed materials. Recycling keeps building materials out of the landfill and reduces the energy needed to manufacture new items. One commonly-used reclaimed material is shipping containers, which are strong, cheap, and can be assembled in a modular fashion to create homes of any size.

R-2000-certified buildings. R-2000 is a voluntary standard administered by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) that evaluates three main areas of construction: energy performance, indoor air quality and use of environmentally preferred materials. Builders are given the freedom to choose the best and most cost-effective way to achieve the R-2000 goals, which means they can incorporate any of the techniques or building styles described above.

LEED-accredited buildings. Probably the best-known green building accreditation system, LEED offers third-party verification that a home is above average in the following areas: sustainability of building site, water efficiency, energy use, sustainability of materials, use of resources, indoor environmental quality, location, transportation connections, and innovation in design. LEED-accredited homes are extremely efficient to operate and have a high resale value.

What is the COP and Why Is It Important?

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

If you’ve been researching air conditioners, you’ve probably seen all sorts of numbers associated with each model. One of these numbers is the Coefficient of Performance (COP). While it’s good to gather as much data as you can before you make a purchasing decision, you also need to know what that data means if it’s going to help you make the best selection possible.

Measuring COP

Calculating the COP for any air conditioning model is relatively simple. The number you see displayed on the box is the ratio of energy input to cooling output. For the most part, the air conditioners you’re probably been looking at have a COP of between 2.5 and 4.0, although newer models are beginning to appear with COPs of up to 5.0.

The higher the COP, of course, the more efficient the air conditioner, so it makes sense to take this number into account when you’re making your purchase. You should also keep in mind, though, that the COP is not a constant measurement. The warmer it is outside, the lower your unit’s COP will be. However, this is standard across all units, so a relative COP comparison is still a viable evaluation method.

If you’re not sure what COP you should look for or whether a lower number will be effective for your home (especially if you only need to cool a small space), you should talk to a professional who can help you match the right COP level to your particular living space.

Improving Efficiency

While it’s always a good idea to get an air conditioner with the best energy efficiency ratings possible, that’s not the only thing you can do to reduce your energy usage and keep your cooling costs down. For instance, there are plenty of ways to keep your home naturally cooler without even turning on the air conditioner.

Even when you do need to flip it on, anything else you can do to reduce the indoor temperature will make it easier for your air conditioner to keep your house comfortable. So put up some awnings, run the ceiling fan and close the blinds to block out that harsh afternoon sun. The more you can do to reduce your indoor temperature naturally, the less your air conditioner will have to do, and the lower your cooling costs will be.

How to Judge the Quality of a Ceiling Fan

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Like just about anything else on the market these days, there are good ceiling fans and there are low quality ones. With such a seemingly simple piece of equipment, it can be tempting to just grab the cheapest one you can find. After all, how much of a difference can it really make? In fact, the quality of the ceiling fan you buy can have a significant impact on its performance level and how long it lasts.

Of course, you do not necessarily want to go out and buy the most expensive thing you can find either. There are many good quality ceiling fans that will not cost you an arm and a leg, but you need to know how to find them and separate them from the rest of the pack.

One of the first things to look for when you are evaluating your ceiling fan options is how much of an angle the blades have. This angle usually ranges from eight to 15 degrees and the bigger the angle, the more air the fan can move at once.

However, cheaper fans with a less powerful motor cannot handle the resistance that a higher volume of air generates. What that usually means is that the units with the smaller blade angle are less powerful and will be less effective at circulating air throughout your room. Even when they are running at the same speeds, the blades with the smaller angle will move less air, and so they will not keep you as cool.

You should also check the various ceiling fans you are considering to make sure they are the right size to fit your room. To be safe, a ceiling fan’s blades should be no less than seven feet above the floor. But if you have very high ceilings, you may want to add something that can extend the fan down closer to the floor so that you will still feel all of the cooling effects it produces.

The various ceiling fans on the market right now all have many different features that can influence your decision as well. For instance, you may want to opt for a fan that has programmable settings or that comes with a remote control for more convenient access. But if these are not features you care about, you can probably save quite a bit by going with a no-frills model.