Design Comfort Blog: Archive for November, 2014

Will Thanksgiving Turkey Really Make You Sleepy?

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

We’ve all heard it before: you feel so sleepy after a Thanksgiving meal because of the main event: the turkey. For years, people have credited extraordinary levels of tryptophan in turkey as the reason we all feel the need to nap after the annual feast. But contrary to this popular mythology, tryptophan is probably not he largest responsible party for your post-meal exhaustion.

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, which means it’s something that our bodies need but do not produce naturally. Your body uses tryptophan to help make vitamin B3 and serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that sends chemicals to the brain to aid in sleep. But in order to get this essential amino acid, we have to eat foods that contain it.

Turkey has somewhat high levels of tryptophan, but so do many other foods, including eggs, peanuts, chocolate, nuts, bananas, and most other meats and dairy products. In fact, ounce-for-ounce cheddar cheese contains a greater amount of tryptophan than turkey. In order for tryptophan to make you feel sleepy, you would have to consume it in excessive amounts, and serotonin is usually only produced by tryptophan on an empty stomach.

The truth is, overeating is largely responsible for the “food coma” many people describe post-Thanksgiving. It takes a lot of energy for your body to process a large meal, and the average Thanksgiving plate contains about twice as many calories as is recommended for daily consumption. If anything, high levels of fat in the turkey cause sleepiness, as they require a lot of energy for your body to digest. Lots of carbohydrates, alcohol, and probably a bit of stress may also be some of the reasons it feels so satisfying to lay down on the couch after the meal and finally get a little bit of shut-eye.

If you feel the need to indulge in a heaping dose of tryptophan this year, go ahead! Turkey also contains healthy proteins and may even provide a boost for your immune system. Here at Design Comfort, we hope your Thanksgiving is full of joy and contentment this year. Happy feasting!

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3 Signs that it’s Time to Replace Your Heating System

Friday, November 21st, 2014

In less than a month winter will officially make its debut for the season. Knowing that you have a reliable heating system to get you through the cold months is critical to your peace of mind. If you’ve been sitting on the fence about whether or not to install a new heating system, let us give you some factors to consider below.

Signs It’s Time to Replace

Here are some of the common signs that it may be time to replace your existing heating system:

High Energy Bills

Are you using your heating system the same as usual but seeing a big spike in the cost of running it? This is indicative of a heater that is not energy efficient. Today’s heating systems are very energy efficient, with many averaging 95% or higher efficiency levels. If you are paying more this year for the same heating as last year, and your fuel costs haven’t gone up, it may be time to consider a new heating system.

Too Many Repairs

Did you have to repair your system frequently last year, and are you potentially looking at more repairs this coming season? Repairs add up quickly, sometimes to the cost of a new system. Nursing a heating system along can cost you money that may be better spent on a durable, reliable new system.


Age is always a factor to consider, especially if you are experiencing the issues above. The average lifespan for a combustion heating system is 15 to 20 years. Once a heating system reaches this age span, it is likely you’ll see the need for more repairs, less efficiency and overall decreased performance. These problems can affect your comfort, energy efficiency and your wallet.

Replacing a malfunctioning and/or aging heating system can be a great opportunity to increase your comfort level and overall energy efficiency; you’ll also have the peace of mind that you have a reliable heating system in your home. If you are seeing the signs that it’s time to replace your heating system, call Design Comfort today and schedule heating replacement service in Salt Lake City with one of our installation experts.

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Signs It May Be Time for Furnace Replacement

Friday, November 14th, 2014

With proper care and maintenance, your furnace can easily last a couple of decades. Even with the best preventative care, however, there will come a time when you’ll need to replace your furnace with a new one. The following are some of the signs that it may be time to replace your furnace.


The simplest indicator that you may need to replace your furnace is its age. Generally, once a furnace gets past 15 years old it begins to decline more and more rapidly. If your furnace is older than 15 years, you should definitely get it checked by a professional to see if it needs replacing.

Increase in Repair Frequency

All furnaces need repairs sometimes, but there is a big difference between the odd part breaking down and needing to replace something every few months. As a furnace gets older, the cumulative wear and tear on its individual parts begins to cause them to break. This tends to manifest in a much higher frequency of breakdowns and malfunctioning parts. If it seems like every time you turn around your furnace is acting up, it may be time to replace it.


Short cycling is what happens when your furnace keeps rapidly turning itself on and off without stopping. This is caused by the system thinking it’s overheating. The furnace will turn on to heat the home, reach an internal temperature level above the safety standard, and shut itself off as a safety precaution. Later, after it has cooled off a little, the furnace will start up again and repeat the cycle endlessly.

Unlike the previous two signs, this one is not normally associated with the age of your furnace. There are a few possible causes for short-cycling. One of these causes is that your furnace is simply too big for your home. The other possibility is that of a clogged air filter, exhaust flue, or even a gas imbalance. No matter what, though, you should call your HVAC technician if you notice your furnace doing this.

If you think you may need to replace your furnace, call Design Comfort. Our HVAC technicians provide heating services all of Salt Lake City.

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The Benefits of an Energy Recovery Ventilator

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Energy efficiency is always important when it comes to heating our homes, but sometimes we can make our homes so air-tight that poor ventilation becomes a problem. How can you achieve energy efficiency while keeping your home well-ventilated? Consider the installation of an energy recovery ventilator (ERV). Upgrading your HVAC system with an ERV can help with both heating and cooling, as we’ll explain below. But to truly gain the benefit of an ERV, it’s important to hire professionals who can properly install the device into your system. Since 1982, Design Comfort has helped install every kind of upgrade available for heating systems in Salt Lake City, so call us today!

How Does an ERV Work?

An energy recovery ventilator works by transferring the heat energy and moisture from your stale indoor air to drawn-in fresh air. During the winter, the ERV vents your stale, warm air to the outside; at the same time, a small fan draws in fresh, cool air from outside. As the warm air is expelled from your home, the ERV removes the moisture and heat energy from this air and pre-treats the incoming cool fresh air with it. In the summer, the opposite happens: the cool, stale air is exhausted to the outside, but the dehumidified, exiting air pre-treats the incoming moist, warm air. The result is fresh, pre-treated, clean air entering the air flow of your HVAC system for dispersal throughout your home.

The Benefits of an ERV

Why install an ERV? Here are a few reasons to consider:

  • Increase in energy efficiency – pre-treating the incoming fresh air helps reduce the amount of work your HVAC system has to do, which helps reduce your system’s overall energy usage.
  • Balanced humidity levels – during the summer, the ERV helps remove excessive moisture from the incoming air; during the winter, the ERV adds needed moisture to the dry cool air, helping to balance the humidity levels in your home.
  • Improved indoor air quality – the steady stream of air the ERV brings in can significantly improve your indoor air quality.

Make your heating and cooling work for you: consider the installation of an energy recovery ventilator. The technicians at Design Comfort are ready to help, so call us today!

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