Posts Tagged ‘Heating Installation’

Southgate HVAC Installation Question: What Is Involved in Replacing an Old System?

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

When your Southgate home’s HVAC system starts to fail — or if it already has — your options essentially come down to two: replace or repair. There are a lot of factors that go into making such a decision, but in general, if it is a newer system with a small problem and you haven’t had much trouble with it, then a simple repair clearly makes sense.

For older systems, or ones that have been repaired all to often lately, or ones that seem to be on their last legs, repair may be the only reasonable course of action.

Surely you know that a total system replacement would be a big job, but have you ever thought about just how big? Sure, you know you will have to swap out the failing furnace, and you may as well replace the air conditioning unit while you’re in there, but that’s it, right?

Actually, there is a lot more to an HVAC system than just those two machines. Think about all the behind-the-scenes components and the little components that are often overlooked, such as:

  • Ducts – Keep in mind that your ducts are probably as old as that furnace you are replacing, and that a new, efficient unit cannot operate at nearly its full potential with faulty duct work.
  • Thermostats – Your old ones may not even be compatible with a new furnace or air conditioner.
  • Wiring – For the thermostat, among other things.
  • Insulation – Many homeowners forget that insulation is part of an HVAC system, too. Just like we said about duct work, old insulation does not help a new system achieve maximum performance.
  • Piping – Such as refrigerant piping on a geothermal system or a ductless air conditioning system.

You can see that the job starts to get pretty complex pretty fast. This doesn’t mean you should shy away from a necessary replacement, just make sure that you fully consider the scope of what you need done, as well as the budget and time frame you have to work with. If you have any questions about replacing your Southgate home’s HVAC system, give Baker & Sons AC a call today!

Happy Valentine’s Day from Your Sarasota Area Heating and Air Conditioning Contractor!

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Everyone at Baker & Sons Air Conditioning, Inc. wishes you a very happy Valentine’s Day! We hope you have a day filled with lots of candy, flowers, and Valentines! Today is all about showing your appreciation for those you love, including your friends, your family, or your significant other. Take a moment today to think about everyone who makes a difference in your life and how you can let them know how special they are to you.

While traditional gifts like candy and flowers are wonderful idea, why not think a little out of the box this year? Upgrading your HVAC system can make your whole house more comfortable, which is something that your entire family will appreciate! A new air filtration system can help you breathe easier, and a new heating and cooling system can significantly lower your energy bills. While not the most romantic of gifts, it certainly will let your family know that you care.

For more information about how a few HVAC upgrades can make your house more comfortable, give Baker & Sons Air Conditioning, Inc. a call. In addition to making your home cozier, you can also make your friends and family happy by making this delicious recipe for Fudge Truffle Cheesecake:

“When the chocolate addict in you begs for a sweet fix, bake this fluffy chocolate cheesecake over a chocolate cookie crust. Decorate it with even more cocoa delights, such as chocolate-dipped fruit or chocolate whipped cream.”

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/3 cup butter, softened

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed

milk

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together crushed vanilla wafers, confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, and butter or margarine by hand. Press ingredients into a 9 inch springform pan.
  3. In the top of a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips, making sure that they are very smooth.
  4. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy with an electric mixer. Gradually beat in condensed milk until smooth. Mix in melted chocolate, eggs, and vanilla. Beat with electric mixer on low speed until the ingredients are thoroughly blended. Pour the filling into the prepared crust.
  5. Bake at 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) for 55 minutes. The cake will seem underbaked in the center, but will continue to cook after you remove it from the oven.

For more details, visit allrecipes.com.

Bradenton Heating Installation Question: Is Geothermal for Me?

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Geothermal heating is a great alternative to other types of home heating systems in Bradenton. It is safe and efficient, costs very little to operate and makes use of a great renewable resource right below our feet. But is it right for you? Well, geothermal heating may be the right choice for many people, but there are many things to take into account before you can determine whether or not it is the best choice for your home.

The first important thing to understand when you are trying to decide whether or not to go with geothermal heating is how one of these systems actually works. A geothermal system heats your home by extracting heat from the ground and then transferring that heat into your indoor air. This happens when liquid, usually water or antifreeze, passes through a loop of pipes installed several feet below the ground.

The liquid absorbs heat from the ground, which in the winter is always warmer than the air, and carries is back up to an air handler inside your home where that heat is allowed to disperse into the air. Once the air is heated, the air handler blows the air through a system of ducts throughout your house, providing a constant stream of heated air to all areas of your Bradenton home. The liquid, on the other hand, simply cycles back through the ground loop to pick up more heat and repeat the same cycle over again.

Because a geothermal heating system does not actually generate heat, it requires very little energy to operate. This means that it is both very cheap for you to run and environmentally friendly. But since installing a geothermal heating system involves putting pipes in underground, it can be pretty expensive initially. However, as long as the amount you save every month on your heating costs is enough to offset the high initial price of installation, it is worth it to put down the money up front.

Another alternative, of course, is a more traditional air source heat pump. These are much cheaper to install and nearly as cheap to run. However, air source heat pumps are not as efficient when the air temperature gets below freezing as a geothermal system can be.

Bird Island Heating Installation Tip: What You Should Consider Before Upgrading

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Many Bird Island homeowners who heat their homes with an older heating system—whether it’s a furnace or a heat pump—may want to consider upgrading to a more efficient system. Older furnaces with an AFUE rating of less than 80%, for instance, could be costing you a lot more than you realize in heating bills.

While it is a significant initial investment, upgrading to a more efficient furnace or heat pump will pay for itself in energy savings. Before you decide on whether or not an upgrade is right for your home, here are some things to keep in mind.

Fuel Costs

Some types of fuel, such as electricity, are more expensive in certain areas. Depending on where you live, you may want to compare the cost of fuel before choosing a heating upgrade. In fact, natural gas may or may not be available to your home. Check with your utility company to find out what types of fuel are available and which ones would be more cost-efficient for heating your home. You can always call a qualified HVAC technician at Baker & Sons Air Conditioning, Inc. if you have any questions about a heating system upgrade or the products we offer.

Insulation

Whenever you are thinking about upgrading your heating system, you’ll want to make sure your home is properly insulated and sealed. If you purchase and install a highly efficient furnace, it won’t save as much in energy bills if your house is poorly insulated. Get a home energy audit with a local energy resource organization if you aren’t sure. You might want to also consider upgrading your old windows and doors, or installing storm doors and windows to improve air tightness.

Property Value

A lot of homeowners forget that any upgrade or remodeling project will increase the value of their home. Not only will a heating system upgrade lower your heating bills; it will also add value to your home and property. Always make sure you choose the right system for your home so that it lasts as long as possible.

If you are considering upgrading the heating system in your Bird Island home, call us today to speak with one of our HVAC experts to ask about our quality products and installation services.

Ellenton Heating Installation Guidelines: Heating System Ventilation 101

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Maintaining Proper Ventilation for Combustion Systems

Anytime you maintain, retrofit, or replace a gas heating system in your Ellenton home you also need to be concerned with air quality. Combustion air is needed by all oil and gas heating systems to support the combustion process. This air is provided in some homes by unintentional air leaks, or by air ducts that connect to the outdoors. The combustion process creates several byproducts that are potentially hazardous to human health and can cause deterioration in your home. You can protect yourself from these hazards, as well as maintain energy efficiency, by ensuring that your chimney system functions properly and that your gas heating system is properly ventilated. In some cases, installing a sealed-combustion furnace can also help.

Chimneys

Properly functioning chimney systems will carry combustion byproducts out of the home. Therefore, chimney problems put you at risk of having these byproducts, such as carbon monoxide, spill into your home.

Most older gas furnaces have naturally drafting chimneys. The combustion gases exit the home through the chimney using only their buoyancy combined with the chimney’s height. Naturally drafting chimneys often have problems exhausting the combustion gases because of chimney blockage, wind or pressures inside the home that overcome the buoyancy of the gases.

Atmospheric, open-combustion furnaces, as well as fan-assisted furnaces, should be vented into masonry chimneys, metal double-wall chimneys, or another type of manufactured chimney. Masonry chimneys should have a fireclay, masonry liner or a retrofitted metal flue liner.

Many older chimneys have deteriorated liners or no liners at all and must be relined during furnace replacement. A chimney should be relined when any of the following changes are made to the combustion heating system:

When you replace an older furnace with a newer one that has an AFUE of 80% or more. These mid-efficiency appliances have a greater risk of depositing acidic condensation droplets in chimneys, and the chimneys must be prepared to handle this corrosive threat. The new chimney liner should be sized to accommodate both the new heating appliance and the combustion water heater by the installer.

When you replace an older furnace with a new 90+ AFUE appliance or a heat pump. In this case, the heating appliance will no longer vent into the old chimney, and the combustion water heater will now vent through an oversized chimney. This oversized chimney can lead to condensation and inadequate draft. The new chimney liner should be sized for the water heater alone, or the water heater in some cases can be vented directly through the wall.

Other Ventilation Concerns

Some fan-assisted, non-condensing furnaces, installed between 1987 and 1993, may be vented horizontally through high-temperature plastic vent pipe (not PVC pipe, which is safely used in condensing furnaces). This type of venting has been recalled and should be replaced by stainless steel vent pipe. If horizontal venting was used, an additional draft-inducing fan may be needed near the vent outlet to create adequate draft. Floor furnaces may have special venting problems because their vent connector exits the furnace close to the floor and may travel 10 to 30 feet before reaching a chimney. Check to see if this type of venting or the floor furnace itself needs replacement. If you smell gases, you have a venting problem that could affect your health. Contact your local utility or Ellenton heating contractor to have this venting problem repaired immediately.

Chimneys can be expensive to repair, and may help justify installing new heating equipment that won’t use the existing chimney.

Casey Key Heating Installation Tip: Comparing High-Efficiency and Mid-Efficiency Furnaces

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Whenever you are in the market for a new furnace for your Casey Key home, there are many models to choose from.  Many of the furnaces manufactured within the last few years are high-efficiency furnaces with a high AFUE rating (AFUE measures the amount of fuel the furnace converts into heat). When people refer to a mid-efficiency furnace, they are usually talking about older furnaces.

Single-stage furnaces were considered to be an efficient heating system when they were manufactured, but compared to newer furnaces, they use up a lot more energy than they need to. Single-speed furnaces are designed to run at full capacity until the temperature inside the home reaches the thermostat setting. After they shut off, the home not only loses heat, but the furnace will also take longer and burn more fuel when it cycles on again.

Newer, two-speed and multispeed models run consistently at lower speeds, and the ones with variable-speed blowers are even more efficient because they can operate at various levels. These models will also automatically adjust to the thermostat to maintain a constant temperature, which saves energy by keeping the home at a consistent temperature so that there’s little heat loss.

When shopping for a new furnace, keep in mind that the AFUE ratings for multispeed and variable-speed furnaces only determine the efficiency of the actual furnace. If you are upgrading your old, mid-efficiency furnace to a high-efficiency furnace, you should make sure that your Casey Key home is properly insulated and sealed.  You could also consider upgrading any older doors and windows to more efficient double-paned ones, or you can also install storm doors and windows.

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.

What Are Your Heat Pump Options? A Question from South Venice

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Once you’ve decided that a heat pump really is the best option for your South Venice home, you’ll still have a lot of options to consider. There are actually quite a few types of heat pumps and they can vary considerably in terms of their energy efficiency and other available features.

For instance, you can choose to go with a heat pump with a one-speed, two-speed or multi-speed compressor. Single speed compressors are only capable of operating at full capacity. That means that they’ll certainly be able to keep your home warm, but they may be working harder than they need to at some points.

A two-speed or multi-speed compressor, on the other hand, can be adjusted to more appropriately fit the heating and cooling needs of the moment. There will certainly be times when you don’t need your heat pump to be going all out, and the ability to regulate this level of performance can benefit you in several ways.

It will allow you to maintain a more consistent indoor temperature to be sure, but it will also reduce the overall wear and tear on your heat pump over time. If your heat pump doesn’t have to run all out all of the time, it simply won’t wear out as fast, and that will save you both money and frustration in the long run. It’s also worth noting that heat pumps with two-speed or multi-speed compressors are more easily integrated into a zone control system if you have one in your home.

However, regardless of what type of compressor your heat pump has, you’ll also have to examine the various heat pump models available to determine what their actual energy efficiency ratings are. Each heat pump actually comes with two ratings, one for heating and one for cooling.

The heating season performance factor (HSPF) reflects the heat pump’s heating efficiency, while the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) is a measure of its cooling efficiency. The higher both of these numbers are, the higher the efficiency of the unit. But you don’t necessarily need both numbers to be as high as possible to get the best heat pump for your home.

If you’re going to be using the heat pump more for cooling than for heating because of the climate where you live, you’ll want to make sure the unit you get has as high a SEER as possible, but you won’t have to worry too much about the HSPF. But if you’re going to need more heating than cooling, you should pay more attention to the HSPF than the SEER.

What Size Heat Pump is Right for My Home? A Question from Bayshore Gardens

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

One of the most important questions to answer when purchasing and installing any new heating or cooling system, no matter what type, is what size is best for your Bayshore Gardens home. You need something that has enough capacity to heat or cool your whole home comfortably; otherwise your house will consistently be at an undesirable temperature.

Some people might think that the quickest solution to this problem is to just buy a system that they are sure has a capacity larger than the size of their home. You may even be tempted to get the biggest model out there, under the logic that the biggest is the best and it will be sure to be able to cover your whole house.

While this line of thinking might make sense to you, it’s actually not a good idea. The problem with this “solution” is that you can wind up with a heat pump that is considerably too large for your needs, which means your home will consistently be either too cool or too hot, and your energy bills will be unnecessarily high.

The best way to choose a new heat pump is to have a professional do a load calculation in your home. This can be a highly technical process, so it is best to leave it to the pros. However, here are some quick tips and other things to consider on the subject:

  • There are a lot of variable to consider in doing a calculation like this. A contractor doing a load calculation will consider the type of construction, what kind of insulation you have installed, what kind of windows you have, whether there is an attic, how many people live there and many more factors.
  • It never hurts to shop around. Get a few estimates from different area contractors, rather than just going with the first opinion.
  • Also, since heat pumps are used for both heating and cooling, different contractors may opt to do the calculation in different ways. Some will estimate capacity based on heating, while others will base it on cooling. Ask to see which is the case for each estimate you receive.
  • If you are getting a new heat pump as a replacement for an existing one, or even a different heating/cooling system, check the capacity of the unit you are replacing. That can be a good place to start. You will at least be in the right ballpark.

All of this means doing some extra leg work up front, but getting the proper sized heat pump is well worth the effort.