Design Comfort Blog: Archive for April, 2014

How Can My Air Conditioning System Help with Humidity?

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

It’s not so much the heat as it is the humidity.

We’ve all heard this phrase before, and we’ve all experienced it: the higher the moisture level in the air, the more uncomfortable a hot day will feel. The reason for this is that high humidity makes it more difficult for our pores to sweat. Sweating is our bodies’ defense against overheating; the release of moisture from our bodies also releases heat. But with too much moisture in the air, we sweat at a slower rate, and lose heat at a slower rate as well. We end up feeling hotter than temperature around us.

Air conditioners can help make your home more comfortable during sweltering summer days when the humidity level contributes to your discomfort. But your AC needs to remain in good operating condition for this to work. When it’s time for repairs for your air conditioning, call Design Comfort. We have 24-hour emergency air conditioning service available in Salt Lake City for when that busted AC can’t wait.

Why Air Conditioning Helps Reduce Humidity

Modern ACs are not designed specifically as dehumidifiers (although some have humidity controls as extra features, and the first electro-mechanical air conditioner was specifically engineered to reduce humidity within a paper plant), but the process of evaporation that creates the feeling of cooler air in your home also draws moisture out of the air.

The evaporator coil in an air conditioner is located in the indoor cabinet of the system. As refrigerant runs through this coil, it absorbs heat from the air, cooling the air down. But it also absorbs moisture from the air, which condenses along the coil. This moisture collects into a shallow pan below the coil (the condensate pan) and from there a pump removes it through a drain. The moisture does not re-enter your home’s air, and so you experience a pleasant humidity reduction.

Watch Out For the Opposite Effect, However

Low humidity is often a problem in Salt Lake City, and this can feel as uncomfortable as high humidity. An air conditioner can end up drying your home out too much, and if this is often the case, consider investing in a whole-house humidifier to create a balance. The combination of the two will help your home achieve the right humidity level no matter the weather.

Design Comfort, along with offering excellent service for air conditioning systems in Salt Lake City, also installs humidifiers. Call us today and talk to our indoor air quality specialists to find out the best way to achieve the right moisture balance inside your house.

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Steps to Take with Your Furnace at the End of Heating Season

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Another season of using furnaces to keep our homes warm has come to an end, and the hum of air conditioners will soon take over. But as the calendar moves toward the end of spring and into the heat of summer, there are some important steps to take regarding the furnaces that will sit tranquil for the next few months.

No, you’re not done with your furnace yet.

Our professionals at Design Comfort have some advice on steps you can take to make sure your furnace has a good vacation and will be ready for the return of cooler weather in fall. Contact us for help with furnaces in Holladay, UT. We have NATE-certified technicians on staff with the skill and knowledge to handle any issues with your furnace.

Some steps for retiring your furnace for spring and summer

  • Check and change the air filter: This filter protects the interior of the furnace from debris that gets drawn in through the return vents. As debris collects in the filter, it will begin to clog and may reach a point where it chokes off airflow. Check the furnace’s filter, and if it is highly congested with dust, dirt, lint, and hair, change it for a fresh one so the furnace is ready to come back on whenever you need it.
  • Run the furnace for an hour to look for problems: It’s a good idea to have any necessary repairs for your furnace done long before winter arrives, and spring is an especially good time to take care of them because HVAC repair technicians have less crowded schedules. Turn on your furnace for an hour and listen for odd noises from the cabinets or weird smells from the vents. Check the airflow from the vents. See if the heat level feels right for what the thermostat displays. Should anything seem amiss, call for repairs right away.
  • Schedule maintenance if more than a year has passed: Annual maintenance for a furnace from a professional is a must. It helps avoid breakdowns, energy waste, and safety issues. Usually, furnace maintenance takes place in the fall. If you did not have it done then, and more than a year has passed since the last maintenance session, have it done now. Make sure your furnace is in the best shape possible for when it roars back to life in fall.

We want you to have any concerns about your furnace removed from your mind as you enjoy the spring and summer. Let our Design Comfort specialists in furnaces in Holladay, UT help you make the final fixes, adjustments, and inspections on your heating system so you can turn it off for the next few months without worrying about turning it back on again in fall.

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How Does a Sump Pump Work?

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Here in Utah, the rainy season means frequent floods and prudent homeowners will take steps to protect their homes from heavy rains. Plumbing repair companies often offer protective measures against flooding, specifically a sump pump which can be installed in your basement with relative ease. It’s a sensible addition to your household, for a number of different reasons. How does a sump pump work? The answers will help explain how invaluable they can be.

The sump pump is installed in a sump pit, a small hole dug into the lowest point in your home. As water leaks into the basement during a flood, it triggers a float activator or pressure sensor, which turns the sump pump on. A device called an impeller – which resembles a small fan – starts to turn in the pump, creating centrifugal force that pushes the water to the sides of the pump. That creates a low-pressure vacuum at the center of the pump, which sucks in the water from the pit and pushes it upwards, then out of the home via a venting pipe. The results keep you basement from flooding and can potentially avert tens of thousands of dollars in damages.

Some types of sump pumps are mounted on stands above the pit. They cost less than other sump pumps, but tend to make a lot more noise when they run. Submersible pumps, which are placed in the pit with the water, tend to be a lot quieter, but cost more to install than pedestal-mounted pumps. Both types usually use electricity, which means they need to be connected to a generator or the power grid in your home to work.

Knowing how a sump pump works is just the first step. The next is to call a Millcreek plumbing repair company that can install one with professionalism and pride. The experts at Design Comfort proudly serve homes throughout the Salt Lake City area, and we can discuss your options with you before installing the right sump pump for you. Pick up the phone today to make an appointment. You’ll be glad you did!

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What to Look for with a New Water Heater

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Your old water heater now approaches retirement, and you’re on the market for its replacement. But the variety of water heaters available, which includes both storage and tankless systems as well as a variety of different fuel sources, can make choosing one tough. We’ll outline some basic questions to ask yourself about what you’re looking for in a new water heater.

Don’t make the choice alone: contact Design Comfort and speak to our Salt Lake City water heater installation specialists. You’ll receive advice to point you in the right direction, and you’ll also have the installers to finish the job.

Can it handle your demand for hot water?

No two households will require the same volume of hot water. If you have a large family, you’ll need more hot water available, especially during weekday mornings. However, a smaller family can sometimes still put large demands on hot water depending upon its habits. When shopping for a hot water heater, ask the professionals about how much hot water each unit can provide and if it will match your needs; you don’t want to install a system that can’t keep up with your family!

How efficiently does it run with multiple use points turned on at once?

This is a different issue from the volume of hot water you use during a day. Instead, it relates to how many different hot water taps might be on at the same time. It’s important to factor this into your search for hot water because some newer high-efficiency models like tankless water heaters will lose their efficiency if there are numerous simultaneous demands for hot water. In such cases, you may lean toward the traditional storage water heater.

Will the heater work with my budget plans (short- and long-term)?

Storage water heaters cost less to install than tankless models. Tankless water heaters cost less to run than storage models. Which savings works better for you? This is another place where a water heater professional can provide you with invaluable assistance; he or she will help you estimate your long-term costs and compare it to initial installation, and you’ll find out which model will serve you best.

It’s no simple task to find the new water heater that will meet your household’s demands as well as save you money. At least, it’s no easy task on your own. With trained technicians familiar with water heater installation in Salt Lake City, UT working with you, the selection job will present few problems, and you can rest easy that the heater the installers put in your home is the heater that should be in your home.

Design Comfort has made Salt Lake City a more comfortable place to live for our customers since 1982. Call us with all your water heater questions.

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