Design Comfort Blog: Archive for January, 2015

What Furnace Noises Mean: A Millcreek Heating Guide

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Furnace noises are one of the most common ways that homeowners can identify problems with their heating system. Simply noticing a strange noise coming from your furnace isn’t enough, however. You need to know what to listen for if you are to react quickly enough to mitigate the damage to your furnace.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most common furnace noises, and what they mean.

Grinding

If you hear a grinding noise coming from your furnace, it is very likely coming from the air handler. The air handler is a collection of parts that work together to circulate air throughout your house. The air handler motor is arguably the most important part of the air handler, as well as being the part put under the most strain during operation. In order to decrease the level of stress on the motor, it is equipped with lubricated bearings that lessen the amount of friction during operation. This prevents the motor from overheating. As the bearings age, however, they begin to wear down and lose their lubrication. This increases the friction on the motor, causing it to work harder than it should. Those worn-down bearings are the source of the grinding sound. If not fixed immediately, the motor could burn out and require replacement.

Booming

A booming sound coming from your furnace is often caused by a burner firing later than the others. The burner assembly is a series of flame jets connected to the gas line of your furnace. These burners are the source of the heat that the furnace provides. Though the primary byproduct of burning fuel is heat, there are many other byproducts that are created. Carbon particles are one of these byproducts. Over time, the carbon particles can build up around and in the burner assembly. Eventually, the buildup can become so advanced that it makes the burner difficult to light. When the burner finally does light, it creates that deep booming sound as it ignites the gas flow. If not cleaned off, the carbon buildup can eventually prevent the burner from lighting altogether.

If you are hearing strange noises coming from your furnace, call Design Comfort. We provide furnace repair throughout the Millcreek area.

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Why Is Thermostat Upgrade Part of Heating Service?

Monday, January 19th, 2015

Thermostats have a lot of unacknowledged power. Why? Many people tend to overlook the fact their thermostat is the control center for their heating system, and as such, wields a great deal of power over the system itself. If you are installing a new heating system, why not take advantage of the opportunity to also upgrade your thermostat? Thermostat installation is an important part of our Design Comfort heating services in Sandy, and we’ll explain more about why this is below.

Why Upgrade Your Thermostat?

Here are some of the reasons why you may want to consider upgrading your thermostat along with other heating services you may be engaged with:

  • Precision – if you’ve been using a slide or dial thermostat, you know that you can’t set an exact temperature; instead, you have to aim for a range. While this may not seem like a problem, having your heating run at 2-3 degrees higher than you want it can be costing you money in energy usage. With a digital thermostat, you can set an exact temperature that is easily seen and read.
  • Programmability – do you drive yourself crazy trying to remember to turn down your thermostat as you leave for work every day and turn it back up when you get home? Wouldn’t it be nice to set a program that allows you to do that? With a programmable thermostat, you can do this.
  • Better energy efficiency – programmability and precision allow you to better manage your heating, which can result in better energy efficiency.

Types of Thermostats

There are three main types of thermostats:

  • Digital – precise face, intuitive, easy-to-use buttons.
  • Programmable – a digital thermostat that you can program, allowing you the convenience and benefit of programming your heating for a full seven days.
  • Smart – using smart technology, a smart thermostat allows you to remotely access your thermostat so that you can change settings, program, and monitor and track your energy usage.

Don’t let your thermostat be under-utilized; call Design Comfort today and see how upgrading your thermostat can help both you and your heating system.

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Residential Heating Options in Salt Lake City

Friday, January 16th, 2015

As heating technology continues to improve, the options for home heating get more and more varied. There are so many options for homeowners these days that it can sometimes get quite overwhelming. No need to worry, though. Have a look at this short list we’ve compiled for residential heating options in Salt Lake City. Hopefully, this will be able to help you narrow down your choices for a new heating system.

Boilers

Boilers are hydronic heating systems, using water to distribute heat throughout the home. The most common form of boiler heating system is called “radiant heating.” It consists of a network of water pipes installed in the subfloor of each room. The boiler then pumps hot water through these pipes, which radiate heat through the floor and into the room itself. Radiant heating is prized for its energy efficiency, as well as its ability to evenly heat a room.

Furnaces

Furnaces are among the most popular home heating systems in the country, and for good reason. A furnace of one kind of another can operate in virtually any kind of climate. Gas furnaces are the most common, as natural gas gives off a great deal of heat per unit burned. In areas where natural gas lines are not available, however, electric furnaces can heat the home just as well. No matter what kind of heating needs you have, there is a furnace available that meets those needs.

Zone Control Systems

Zone control systems are not heating systems in and of themselves, but they are still an option of which you should be aware. They involve the installation of large dampers in the ductwork of your home, one for each room. A separate thermostat controls each damper, and each can have individual settings. When the thermostat calls for heat, the damper opens to allow warm air into the room. This allows each room to set its own climate, allowing a much finer degree of control than a normal central heating system provides.

If you’d like to know more, call Design Comfort. We provide heating installation throughout Salt Lake City.

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3 Reasons Your Furnace Is So Expensive to Run

Friday, January 9th, 2015

Your heating bill is bound to fluctuate from month to month, because your need for heating is going to be different from month to month. If your heating bill starts showing a consistent rise, however, then something is probably affecting the efficiency of your furnace. There are any number of reasons why your furnace could start becoming more expensive to run. In the interest of brevity, however, let’s focus on the top 3.

Your Ducts are Leaking

The U.S. Department of Energy has estimated that forced air heating systems lose almost 30% of their heat on average to leaks in the ductwork. That’s a massive amount of wasted heat, almost a third of your furnace’s total heat output. Leaks in the ductwork of a home are often small, but if there are enough of them the impact can be quite large. If you haven’t had your ducts cleaned or sealed in a while, there’s a very good chance that you are paying for heat that is never actually making it to its destination.

It’s the Wrong Size

Properly sizing your furnace is extremely important when you first start shopping for one. If you install a furnace that is either too big or two small, you open yourself to issues that you wouldn’t have had to deal with otherwise.

An oversized furnace has a tendency to provoke short-cycling. That is, it trips the safety switch for an emergency shutoff because its higher heat output makes the system think it’s overheating. This locks the furnace into a very rapid on/off cycle, where it never has the time to actually provide a steady stream of warm air before shutting down and starting up again. An undersized furnace, on the other hand, will simply stay on for a much longer period of time because it doesn’t have the heat output to heat the home properly.

It’s at the End of its Life

The last possibility is that, quite simply, your furnace is reaching the end of its lifespan. The longer a furnace operates, the less efficient it becomes at heating. This decline continues until the furnace finally gives out, and is often indicated by higher heat bills. If your furnace is over 15 years old, it might be time to replace it.

If you’d like to know more, call Design Comfort. We provide heating services throughout Salt Lake City.

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