Design Comfort Blog

Signs You Need Water Heater Repair in Millcreek, UT

August 22nd, 2014

When your water heater stops working, you’ll realize just how many tasks around the house rely on hot water. Whether you need to take a hot shower, throw some clothes in the washing machine, or wash stuck-on food from the dishes, a lack of hot water is a major inconvenience. While an absence of hot water will likely cause you to call for water heater repair, it’s important to catch warning signs right away to avoid failure in the future.

While water heaters are built to last a long time, no unit is perfect and yours will probably need repairs eventually.

Here Are Three Reasons You May Need To Call For Water Heater Repairs

  • Loud Noises: Often, a rumbling sound may indicate a broken dip tube or a problem with the mixing valve, or it may mean that the water is overheating. Another unusual noise is a banging noise that may indicate a mineral buildup. Even if these repairs needs do not seem to have affected the quality of your hot water, it’s important to have them checked right away to avoid leaks.
  • Leaks: Leaks from components of your water heater are usually reparable as long as they have not affected the tank. Otherwise, a leak may require you to replace the entire storage heater. If you notice water around your unit, call a plumber immediately for repairs.
  • Temperature Issues: Another common problem with water heaters has to do with the temperature of your water. As a homeowner, you know what temperatures your hot water is typically able to reach. Similarly, you can recognize whether the water becomes cold sooner than usual. When this begins to happen, it may indicate a repair need. For example, a broken dip tube may mean that water cannot heat up completely at the top of the tank.

Don’t wait for your water heater to break down before calling for help from an experienced plumber. Only a trained contractor can diagnose and repair problems such as these to get your heater back to normal. Call on the experts in water heater repair in Millcreek at Design Comfort.

3 Reasons to Install a Humidifier

August 15th, 2014

Just as there can be too much humidity, there can also be too little, especially in climates that tend to be more arid. You can also have too little indoor humidity when your home is sealed for energy efficiency. In either case, too little humidity can cause damage to property and create health issues. A great way to combat the effects of low humidity is to have the experts at Design Comfort install a whole-home humidifier as part of your air conditioning installation.

Why Add a Humidifier?

Low humidity can have the following effect on you, your home and your property:

  • Health – low humidity can cause nose bleeds, excessively dry skin, aggravate allergy and asthma symptoms and dry out your mucous membranes, which may affect your immunity to germs.
  • Furniture – furnishings made of wood, including chairs, tables, bookcases, etc., can shrink and splinter without the proper amount of humidity in the air.
  • Walls, trim, moldings – trim and moldings can shrink and peel if painted, and wallpaper can peel without enough moisture.
  • Comfort – air that is too dry can feel uncomfortable; by adding some moisture to the air with a whole-home humidifier, you can achieve a better level of comfort.
  • Energy efficiency – adding moisture to the air may allow you to turn your thermostat up a couple of degrees, saving you both energy and money.

How Does a Humidifier Work?

Humidifiers add moisture to the air in the form of water vapor. There are two ways this can be achieved: through steam or through evaporation. A whole-home humidifier becomes a part of your overall air conditioning system; you can even adjust humidity levels at your thermostat. Maintenance of a whole-home humidifier can be scheduled bi-annually with the maintenance of your air conditioning system.

Is Your Home Too Dry?

A home that’s too dry can be as uncomfortable and inefficient as one that’s too moist; it can also affect the health of your family members. If you think your home could benefit from the addition of a whole-home humidifier to your air conditioning system in Sandy, call the professionals you can trust: Design Comfort.

What Does That Noise Mean?

August 8th, 2014

In the summer, trouble with your air conditioning system can be alarming. A sudden breakdown can inconvenience you and cause your family a lot of discomfort. When your air conditioner makes strange noises, you may be unsure as to whether the problem is urgent. But if you’re worried about sudden breakdowns, you should treat any and all noises as troublesome. Call an air conditioning repair service at the first sign of a problem. While a noise may indicate a minor repair need, that same noise may also be a big deal.

Here are what some of the most common noises indicate.

  • Banging: A banging noise may mean that there is a loose component somewhere inside your air conditioner. If you hear banging inside of your home, it could mean that a blower fan blade is loose or damaged. This could interfere with the amount of airflow over the evaporator coil, which may cause it to freeze. If you hear this noise outdoors, it may mean there is damage at the condenser fan, or it could indicate loose screws or other hardware. However, this noise may also indicate a problem with the compressor. Compressor damage should be looked at as soon as possible, so it’s best to call a professional right away.
  • Hissing: A hissing noise often indicates low refrigerant. The refrigerant in your system must stay at a set level in order to properly remove heat from your home. If this level drops, heat exchange may not take place, and you may feel no cool air in your home. Besides limited cooling, the components of your air conditioner may be affected as well. The parts of your AC are meant to hold a specific level of refrigerant and any change could cause them to overwork, damaging your system.
  • Buzzing: A buzzing noise usually indicates an electrical problem. You should never attempt to repair an electrical problem without the help of a qualified technician.

When you need air conditioning repair service in Sandy, it’s easy to find an experienced technician who can diagnose and repair your system. Just call the experts at Design Comfort at the first sign of trouble.

Ways You Can Upgrade Your Current Air Conditioning System

July 31st, 2014

Upgrades to your current air conditioning system can improve and enhance your system’s energy efficiency, indoor air quality and overall comfort level. There are many different types of upgrades from which to choose, and each offers its own benefits for your air conditioning. Since 1982, Design Comfort has helped Salt Lake City customers get the most from their air conditioners in Salt Lake City, and we can do the same for you.

There Are a Number of Different Upgrades to Consider For Your Air Conditioning System

Zone Control System

Do you hear constant complaints about it being too hot or too cold? Do you want better control over your cooling? A zone control system can help you with these issues and more. With a zone control system, individual motorized dampers are installed directly into your ductwork. Each damper is attached to, and controlled by, its own thermostat. Through a central control panel, you control these thermostats as per your zone plan. A zone can be separate rooms or separate floors in your home – you decide. Zone control systems allow you to cool only what needs to be cooled, helping to improve both comfort and energy efficiency all at the same time.

Air Cleaners

Are you experiencing problems with your indoor air quality? Do you just want to improve it? Air cleaners can help reduce allergens dramatically, and an air purifier like UV germicidal lighting can destroy biological pollutants. Our air cleaners are for whole-home use, and as such, become part of your air conditioning system. There are a number of types of air cleaners available, which is why speaking to a trained professional is strongly suggested.

Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV)

Imagine taking the energy from your indoor air and using it to be more energy efficient. You can do just that with an energy recovery ventilator. How? An energy recovery ventilator is a ventilation system that exchanges your indoor air with the outdoor air while using the energy from the outgoing air to pre-cool (or pre-heat) the incoming air. This happens in the heat exchanger, which is the core of the ERV. The energy streams don’t mix, but are close enough to each other to be able to exchange energy. ERVs can help tremendously with energy efficiency and maintaining excellent indoor air quality.

As you can see, there are a number of different upgrades you can make to your air conditioner to help with energy efficiency and comfort. Think you may benefit from an upgrade to your air conditioning? Call Design Comfort today and speak with one of our professionals and set up your air conditioning upgrades in Salt Lake City.

Why Should I Consider Installing an Energy Recovery Ventilator?

July 23rd, 2014

Energy efficiency is important for your air conditioning, home, family and finances in Salt Lake City. There are a number of things homeowners can do to be more energy efficient, and one way to really achieve energy efficiency is with an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) from Design Comfort.

What is an Energy Recovery Ventilator?

An energy recovery ventilator is a ventilation system that exchanges your indoor air with the outdoor air while using the energy from the outgoing air to pre-cool (or pre-heat) the incoming air. The component responsible for this exchange is the heat exchanger, which is the core of the ERV. Within the heat exchanger, the stale air from your indoors is sent outdoors while the energy of it is used to pre-treat the incoming fresh air.

For instance, during the summer, as your stale, conditioned indoor air is expelled, the heat exchanger inside the ERV removes heat from the fresh, hot air that’s coming in. This action cools the incoming air and reduces the amount of energy needed to cool it to a comfortable level inside. In winter, the opposite happens.

Benefits of an Energy Recovery Ventilator

  • Energy savings – the ability of the ERV to pre-treat the incoming air using existing energy from your indoor air decreases your air conditioner’s need to cool the air entirely on its own.
  • Decrease in humidity – ERVs transfer moisture with the air they remove. This helps maintain a comfortable relative humidity level in your home, which reduces the stress on your air conditioner.
  • Better air quality – ERVs provide a steady stream of fresh air into your living space, increasing indoor air quality and removing pollutants as the air exchanges.

Make the Most of Your Indoor Air with an Energy Recovery Ventilator

An energy recovery ventilator added to your air conditioning system in Salt Lake City can save you money and increase the quality of your indoor air, all at the same time. Since 1982, Design Comfort has helped many customers with their air conditioning needs. Call us today and see how an energy recovery ventilator can help you.

3 Common Repairs for Salt Lake City Air Conditioning

July 18th, 2014

During the summer, it’s common for homeowners to need repairs on their air conditioning systems. Your AC works hard all summer long, so it’s not surprising if something in your system becomes worn or needs repair sooner than expected. The air conditioning experts at Design Comfort have put together this list of three of the most common air conditioning repairs in Salt Lake City.

Refrigerant Leaks

Your air conditioner needs a constant level of refrigerant in order to run properly. The refrigerant in your AC absorbs the heat from inside of your home and releases it outdoors. The refrigerant itself will never dissipate, so any loss of refrigerant is usually due to a leak somewhere in your system. Signs that you may have a refrigerant leak include a loss of cooling power and a hissing sound. Only AC technicians are qualified to handle refrigerant and repair leaks.

Failing Compressor

The compressor is a vital part of your AC system. As refrigerant reaches the compressor, it is a low-pressure gas. The compressor changes it into a high-pressure gas so that it can give off heat at the condenser coil and make its way through the rest of the system. There are many things that may go wrong with your compressor. There may be a loose electrical connection causing the compressor to malfunction. But if your air conditioning is hard starting, struggling to turn on and off, you may have a serious repair issue.

Frozen Evaporator Coil

Another common repair need for air conditioning systems is a frozen evaporator coil. As a fan blows warm air over the evaporator coil, refrigerant changes from a liquid to a gas and absorbs the heat. If your home is not receiving cool air, it may be because the evaporator coil has frozen and heat exchange is ineffective. The coil often freezes because of a dirty air filter, so make sure you change your air filter about once a month. However, you should still call a technician to see if a frozen coil has led to damage in other parts of your system.

For more information or to schedule repairs for your air conditioning system in Salt Lake City, talk to the experts at Design Comfort today!

Improvements You Can Make to Your Air Conditioner

July 8th, 2014

Your air conditioning thermostat puts the cooling power in your hands, letting you adjust the temperature to whatever will be most comfortable and keep your energy bills manageable. You may not be aware, however, that there are even more ways to control the temperature in your home to make your family happy and your savings high.

Digital, Programmable Thermostats

A manual thermostat with dials and sliders may not be the best way to ensure the temperature in your home is what you’d like it to be. These models can be difficult to read and it may be difficult to gauge whether the temperature you’ve selected is accurate. If you still have a manual thermostat, you might consider a digital thermostat with a clear display for increased accuracy.

Many digital thermostats are programmable. You can set your AC to turn on and off when you will be home so you don’t have to worry about leaving it on all day. Similarly, you can set the temperature higher or lower at certain times of the day to save energy. One of the newest upgrades available for air conditioning systems today is a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats can be controlled remotely from a computer or mobile device with internet access, and can also learn users’ preferences to predict usage patterns.

Zone Control

For even greater temperature control, another improvement is zone control, which allows you to vary the temperature in different areas throughout the house. Different family members may want a different temperature setting in the rooms they occupy throughout the day. With zone control, a technician installs dampers in your ducts that open and close via individual thermostats installed in each room or zone or with a master thermostat that controls each zone.

Zone control can help to reduce your energy bill every month as well. You can save energy, for example, by turning off the air upstairs when all of your family members are seated in the downstairs living room.

At Design Comfort, we install zone control systems and offer digital and programmable thermostats, including smart thermostats. If you want improved performance and efficiency for your air conditioning system in Salt Lake City this summer, call now!

Leading the Way with Independence Days!

July 3rd, 2014

The term “Fourth of July” is the popular name for the U.S. federal holiday officially known as Independence Day. It isn’t surprising that we would come up with a different name from the official one, since “Independence Day” is one of the most common holiday names across the globe. Most of the nations in existence today won their independence from another power, whether through wars, treaties, or long transitions.

What might surprise many people is how old U.S. Independence Day actually is compared to the similar holidays of other nations. Although the U.S. is still considered a young nation, it was one of the first to make a full break for its colonial master with a new constitution. Most countries that celebrate a national Independence Day are commemorating events that occurred in the second half of the 20th century, when many older empires at last relinquished control over their colonies.

How substantial is the difference in time for the U.S.A. and the rest of the world? U.S. Independence Day celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1776, making our country unusual in that almost no existing nations celebrate an independence event from the eighteenth century.

In terms of age, there is only a tiny handful current countries that celebrate an independence day that occurred earlier than the United States. Switzerland celebrates its independence from the Holy Roman Empire of the Germans in 1291 with “Swiss National Day,” held every August 1—although this only gained status as a national holiday in 1994. Sweden Celebrates “National Day of Sweden” to commemorate events in 1523 and the election of King Gustav I during the War of Liberation against Christian II of Denmark and Norway. Romania comes almost a hundred years after U.S. Independence, with its 1877 freedom from Turkish rule.

The most recent Independence Days to come into existence are for Montenegro, which gained independence from Serbia in 2006 and celebrates the day on May 21, and South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011 and celebrates the day only a day after the U.S., on July 5.

Does anyone else celebrate a literal “Fourth of July,” an Independence Day that also falls on the fourth day of the seventh month? Yes: Abkhazia, a small Central Asian country that declared its independence from the Republic of Georgia in 1999 (although not all countries recognize it). Coming a day (like South Sudan) on July 5 is the independence of the small Atlantic island nation of Cape Verde, which became free from Portugal through signed agreement in 1975.

Everyone at Design Comfort hopes you and your family enjoy a vibrant Independence Day/Fourth of July this year!

How Does Zone Control Work for Centralized Air Conditioners?

June 26th, 2014

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to set different temperatures throughout your home to achieve the best comfort level? Or thought how great it would be to turn the AC off in rooms or parts of your home that don’t get used very much? Zone control systems can do these things and more for your air conditioning in Salt Lake City.

What Is a Zone Control System?

A zone control system is a system of motorized dampers placed into the air ducts of your property. Each damper is connected to a thermostat, which establishes the “zones” for your cooling. With these individual thermostats, you can control the cooling of each zone independently of one another instead of having your entire home controlled by a single-set thermostat.

What Are the Benefits of a Zone Control System?

There are several benefits to adding a zone control system to your air conditioner:

  • Increased efficiency – a zone control system allows you to cool only the spaces that need it; for spaces that are unoccupied, you can turn off the AC to that room entirely. This can help you save energy and money.
  • Better comfort – does the single-set thermostat in your home leave some people cold and others warm? With a zone control system, individual rooms can be set to the exact temperature you want without affecting the rest of your home. This helps increase comfort levels and eliminates uneven hot and cold spots that can be created by single-set thermostats.
  • Great for variable architecture – if you have vaulted ceilings or a wall of windows, your cooling load for that particular space is probably different from the rest of your home, possibly making it challenging to keep it the same temperature as the rest of your property. With a zone control system, this type of challenge is no longer a problem, as the space can be cooled separately from the rest of your property.

Is a Zone Control System Right for You?

There are great benefits to installing a zone control system to your air conditioning system, but the best way to assess if a zone control system will work for your air conditioner is to consult with a Design Comfort expert, so give us a call today and schedule air conditioning service in Salt Lake City!

Air Conditioning Problems Caused by Low Refrigerant

June 19th, 2014

Refrigerant is the chemical in your air conditioning system that makes it possible to cool the indoor air. Refrigerant can do this because it can easily turn from a liquid to a gas and back again, all within the closed system of your air conditioner. The interesting thing is that the refrigerant in your air conditioner doesn’t deplete; it was designed to stay at a set amount for the life of the air conditioner. As such, the only ways refrigerant can run low in an air conditioning system are: a) the amount of refrigerant put into the system during installation was incorrect or; b) there is a leak. In either case, your air conditioning system needs the help of a trained professional, so call the ones to trust: Design Comfort.

AC Problems Caused by Refrigerant Leaks

Several problems can arise from a low refrigerant level and all can cause operational issues with your air conditioning system. Therefore, it is always advisable to repair a refrigerant leak as soon as possible. Here are some of the more common problems our experts at Design Comfort have encountered when dealing with low refrigerant:

  • Warm air – when your system is low on refrigerant, there isn’t enough of the chemical in the system to correctly execute the heat release and cooling process necessary for cooling the air. The result can be warm air blowing into your property.
  • Icing – low refrigerant causes an imbalance in the system. When your system forms ice, the parts that are supposed to be hot are too hot and not cooling off properly; conversely, the cool parts are too cold because they aren’t warming up as they should. These two very disparate air temperatures meet in the air conditioner and create condensation – but because the cool parts are too cold, the condensation quickly turns from water to ice.
  • Air conditioner won’t start – some systems have a built-in safety switch that turns on when the refrigerant goes too low. If your air conditioner is equipped with this kind of safety switch, don’t try and force your AC to turn on; call a technician to inspect your system.

Call an Expert for Refrigerant Repairs

Finding a refrigerant leak isn’t easy, and handling refrigerant requires training. The bottom line: fixing a refrigerant leak isn’t a DIY kind of job. If you are seeing signs your air conditioner may be low on refrigerant, call Design Comfort today and schedule an appointment for your air conditioning repair service in Salt Lake City.