Design Comfort Blog: Archive for May, 2012

Are Your Air Ducts in Salt Lake City Able to Handle a Heat Pump?

Monday, May 28th, 2012

Between the concerns about climate change and the rising costs of energy production and consumption, there is a lot of experimentation with new technology.  Standard choices are being re-evaluated and new designs are changing the requirements for various parts.

In homes and other buildings where systems were designed and installed according to the cheaper energy parameters prevalent in the day, it may be time to consider drastic changes to increase the efficiency and decrease impact on the carbon footprint.  Room for improvement can be found in many corners.

Heat Pump Technology

One appliance that is getting a lot of attention in Salt Lake City is heat pumps, a device that transfers thermal energy from one location to another, usually in the direction of from a colder temperature to higher and generally the opposite of the natural flow.  While compressor-driven air conditioners and freezers are technically heat pumps, heat pump is the term that usually implies one of the less-common devices in the class that are not dedicated to refrigeration-only.

A heat pump installation maintains a thermally conditioned-space can be used to provide either heating or cooling, depending upon whether the environment is cooler or warmer than the conditioned-space.  Typically pumps utilize some thermal energy from the environment itself, such as the natural heat beneath the Earth’s surface.

By simply transferring the energy rather than producing it, heat pumps are being more seriously considered as attractive alternatives to provide an efficient and clean system for conditioning public and living spaces.

Change of Use

In considering a change from an existing system to a heat pump, there are many details to compare to see if it makes any sense at all.  The overall local climate (cool or hot) in general, and the availability of geothermal heat, in particular,  are two major factors.

Since a heat pump typically moves conditioned air through ductwork, the advantages of the change are much more realistic with a system of pre-existing ducts such as a forced air furnace or central air-conditioning unit.  While a heat pump often requires a larger volume of ducts, the old network of metal tunnels was often over-sized for inefficient furnaces and should do fine in a conversion to a heat pump.

The Right Data

Since the required formulas are dependent upon variables such as size, distance, volume and oomph, the design is strategic and makes all the difference.  Consulting with a trained and experienced professional such as (Your Company) is critical to the success of the conversion.

Do the homework to get the best recommendation for your home, and if you need help just call Design Comfort.

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Salt Lake City Heating Tips: What do These Noises Mean Coming From My Furnace?

Monday, May 7th, 2012

During a bitterly cold winter night, in the luxury of our homes, we have the ability to adjust the temperatures to comfortably walk barefoot down the hall.  It is easy to take our heating systems in Salt Lake City for granted, but without proper maintenance, they can become noisy and irritable, growling with mysterious sounds of dissatisfaction and ominous groans, warning that slippers and more blankets may soon be necessary.

This does not have to happen to you.

At the beginning of each season, it makes good sense to care for the furnace that is going to take care of you.   Scheduling regular heating systems maintenance and filter change with Design Comfort ensures a longer life and increased efficiency.

Rattles and Bumps in the Night

At the first sound of trouble, checking the filter can often be a quick relief.  As air passes through the furnace, a filter picks out much of the dust and some heavier particles that have come along, gotten snagged and accumulated over time to create a solid blockage.

This filter can become clogged and force the furnace to work much harder to push the air through the blocked passage. Located just inside the front panel of the furnace, the filter is very accessible and easily exchanged for a clean one.  This should be the very minimum of regular maintenance and is simple enough to do that it can make anyone feel handy.

Deeper Trouble

Heated air and cold air returning to and from the furnace travel through ductwork which is often metal (those long, silvery boxes tucked up between joists in your basement and covered by a nasty layer of cobwebs).  The vibration of footsteps across the floor overhead or even of just the air movement through the ducts can loosen the fasteners and rattle the metal like a rumble of thunder.

Internally, there are fans and lots of moving parts in the motor.  A noise coming from this area portends a repair of a more complicated nature and should have the inspection of a certified technician, a service easily provided by Design Comfort.

With proper care and maintenance, furnaces are built to last for decades, providing heat and comfort to the home or office and improving the quality of life for the people inside.  Call Design Comfort to ensure the efficient operation.

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