Design Comfort Blog: Archive for April, 2013

Air Conditioning: What is a Zone Control System?

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Homeowners throughout the Salt Lake City area are looking for ways to improve their air conditioning systems, especially during the spring. Now is a great time to call for routine maintenance, repairs, and upgrades. If you have a central air split system, the prospect of cooling your entire home, whether occupied or unoccupied, can be daunting. A single temperature throughout all of the rooms in the house may not be the most efficient use of your energy, and you may find that areas of your home are of different temperatures. If you’d like to remedy this situation, consider installing a zone control system. For comprehensive Salt Lake City air conditioning services, call Design Comfort today!

We’d like to explain a little about the zone control system so that you can stay informed about the various ways you can improve the efficiency and performance of your central air:

  • What is a zone control system? It is a way of dividing up your existing ductwork into zones that can be individually controlled. It is an aftermarket upgrade that is relatively straightforward to install by a professional AC technician. A set of electronically controlled dampers are installed within your ductwork. The manner in which these dampers divide your home is strictly up to you and your cooling needs.
  • How does it work? A thermostat in each of the zones communicates with the dampers and air handler, blocking or permitting airflow according to your specifications.
  • What are the benefits? A zone control system allows you unprecedented control over how your conditioned air is distributed throughout your home. If you’ve ever been frustrated by the thought of cooling your unoccupied kitchen downstairs in order to sleep soundly upstairs, then a zone control system is a great solution. By only cooling the areas you need to, and by adjusting the temperatures of other unoccupied zones accordingly, you can save substantial amounts of energy throughout the cooling season.

For more information about zone control systems, and to see if they’re right for your home, get in touch with your local professional. For comprehensive Salt Lake City air conditioning services, call Design Comfort today!

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Air Conditioning Tip: New AC Installation Options

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

If you’re in the market for a new air conditioning in your home, the range of types and brands of air conditioners can be somewhat daunting. Like many homeowners, you’re probably trying to weigh your options, and choose a model that is both good for energy efficiency and cooling performance, all within your budget. You also need to ensure that your AC is properly sized for your home, so that it performs efficiently. If it is too big, it will short-cycle and waste energy; if it is too small, it will struggle to cool your home at all, and may overwork itself, leading to increase wear and tear. Most importantly, you need to ensure that you receive professional air conditioning installation so that it is both effective and efficient. For more information about Salt Lake City air conditioning services, call Design Comfort today!

Let’s take a look at two major types of air conditioning:

  • Central split air conditioning. Central air is the most popular type of AC system on the market today. It is a “split” system, which simply means that there is an outdoor unit comprised of a condenser and compressor, and an indoor unit comprised of an evaporator and air handler. Like all ACs, it relies on the refrigerant cycle to remove warm air from inside the home and distribute cool air throughout the home. It does this by pressurizing chemically designed refrigerant and making it change from a liquid to a gas, and from a gas to a liquid. It requires a system of ductwork to extract and distribute air.
  • Ductless mini split air conditioning. As its name suggests, ductless mini split air conditioning does not use ducts to extract and distribute air. It sidesteps the energy loss and poor indoor air quality caused by ductwork by installing the air handlers directly into the living space. These sleek, compact units sit high on the wall, or recessed in the ceiling. Refrigerant, drainage, and electrical lines connect the indoor and outdoor units through a relatively small hole. Each indoor air handler can be separately controlled, making the ductless mini split a versatile choice.

When you need Salt Lake City, UT air conditioning, call the experts at Design Comfort today!

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Air Conditioning Tip: Getting Your AC Ready For The Cooling Season

Monday, April 15th, 2013

If you’re not yet ready for the summer, that’s ok. There’s still to prepare your home for this upcoming cooling season. Spring is an excellent time to fire up your AC so as to ensure that it still works properly. If you have any misgivings about its operation, then you can take care of the problem well before you need your AC night and day to stay cool. In this post, we’d like to share with you some things every homeowner can do to prep his or her system for the summer heat and humidity. For Salt Lake City air conditioning, contact the experts at Design Comfort  today!

  • Schedule air conditioning system maintenance. There’s no substitute for professional attention and care. April is a great time to ensure that your AC is ready to go. Your SLC air conditioning technician will thoroughly inspect, clean, and tune-up all aspects of your system, including checking for low levels of refrigerant, cleaning the evaporator and condenser, and inspecting the compressor. Make sure that your cooling system receives the maintenance it deserves so that you stay comfortable this summer.
  • Check, clean, and replace your air filter. While you probably know to check your air filter at least once a month during the peak cooling season, it’s also important to start off the cooling season on the right foot. If you haven’t already, put in a new air filter. Your air filter is designed to prevent dust and debris from settling on your AC components, but it also affects the quality of your indoor air. Most critically, a clogged air filter can actually force your system to work harder than it should, and can increase your energy bill.
  • Clear debris. Make sure that your indoor and outdoor units have adequate airflow clearance, so that they can properly transfer heat. This simple step can save you from jammed mechanical parts and inefficient cooling.

We hope you find this brief guide helpful. For more information about your Salt Lake City air conditioning system, and how to improve it, contact Design Comfort today!

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Heating Tip: Home Energy Upgrades

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Homeowners throughout the Salt Lake City area are always looking for ways to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Home energy upgrades take a whole-home approach to heating, taking into account not only the furnace and ductwork, but also structural factors like insulation and air leaks. If you feel that your furnace no longer operates as well as it once did, or that your heated air is leaking to unused spaces of your home or into the outdoor air, then it may be time to consider taking a new approach to your heating system. For Salt Lake City heating consultation, repairs, and installation, contact the experts at Design Comfort today!

Let’s take a look at some ways you can ensure you are maximizing your energy usage during the heating season:

  • Install a programmable thermostat. Ensuring that you are in full control of your indoor climate, no matter what time of day or day of the week can go a long way towards ensuring that you’re getting the most out of your energy usage. A wireless programmable thermostat can be synchronized according to your work schedule, so that you don’t heat your home when no one is there. Temperature changes occur automatically and gradually to maximize energy efficiency and comfort.
  • Upgrade your heating system. If your current heater is over 12 years old, or requires frequent repairs, then consider replacing instead of repairing. Remember, it’s better to invest in the future of your home heating system than to bolster up an obsolete piece of equipment. Whatever type of system you currently have, today’s heaters are substantially more powerful and efficient than those made even 10 years ago.
  • Enroll in a routine maintenance plan. There’s no substitute for professional heating maintenance. Speak to a professional to arrange a schedule of inspection, cleaning, and tune-ups so that your heating system remains in top shape throughout the year. This will not only improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the heater, but also improve its lifespan, and possibly reduce the need for major repairs. Whether your heater is 4 or 14 years old, routine maintenance is a key component of smart energy usage in the home.

For more information about home energy upgrades, or to schedule a Salt Lake City heating service, call Design Comfort today!

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Heating Repair Tip: Common Heating Repairs

Monday, April 1st, 2013

Spring will get here eventually, but before the weather warms up we still have some heating to get to. After working hard throughout the long, cold winter months, your heater may hit a road block or two in its operation. This is to be expected on occasion, and most heating problems are not terribly serious. Not at first, anyway.

The longer you force your heating system to operate when it is in need of professional repair service, the more likely it becomes that real damage will be done. Contact the Salt Lake City heating repair professionals at Design Comfort today to learn more. Here are a few examples of common heating repairs we perform.

Airflow problems are among the most frequent issues that homeowners contact their heating repair company about. As is the case with many heating problems, this single issue has a multitude of potential causes. It is possible that your fan motor is damaged, that a belt has slipped or your bearings need lubrication. The issue may also lie in your ductwork. If your air ducts are damaged, torn or improperly installed then you cannot expect them to deliver heated air throughout your home efficiently.

If your pilot light has trouble staying lit, another common heating problem, a few different heating repair services may be necessary. It is possible that you have a faulty thermocouple. A thermocouple is a safety device that determines whether or not there is sufficient heat to safely ignite a fuel source. If enough heat is not connected, this device will stem the flow of natural gas. There may also be a problem with the gas delivery system itself.

Very often, the problems that homeowners contact their heating technician about could have been avoided simply by scheduling routine heating maintenance. If you have not had your heater professionally maintained in the past year, schedule service today. There is no better way to reduce the risk of damage to your home heating system.

For more Salt Lake City heating tips, call Design Comfort. We can answer any questions that you may have. Contact us today to learn more.

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