Design Comfort Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Heating’

Choosing Your New Heating System

Monday, September 14th, 2015

You may not be ready for summer to end, but this reticence on your part will do nothing to prevent the onset of winter in just a few short weeks. With this in mind, it is in your best interest to schedule your heating installation or replacement services  before the winter season can really get underway. Our technicians are only to get busier the closer heating season comes. If you are serious about enjoying reliable, consistent heating in Salt Lake City, UT, then schedule your heating services  with a member of our staff. Design Comfort is here to ensure that you have the right heating system in place for  your needs.

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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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Standing Pilot vs. Intermittent Pilot: What’s the Difference?

Friday, December 5th, 2014

The pilot light has been a staple of home heating systems for decades. The continuous flame underneath furnaces and boilers across the country has gained wide recognition as the ignition source for the heater. It has also become notorious for going out for no apparent reason. This, combined with recent advances in technology, have led to the rise of intermittent systems. Let’s take a look at the differences between the two systems.

Standing Pilot

The standing pilot light is the traditional ignition source for most natural gas-fueled combustion heating systems. It is comprised of a small burner, a gas valve to supply the burner, and a thermocouple. When the pilot light is first lit, usually by a button on the outside of the heater, the thermocouple registers the heat and sends an electrical current to the gas valve. This current keeps the gas valve open and supplying fuel to the pilot light. As long as the thermocouple keeps registering the heat from the pilot light, the flame can stay lit indefinitely. When the flame goes out, the current stops and the gas valve closes. This is a safety measure to prevent the home from filling up with gas.

There are a couple of issues with this kind of system, the first of which is wasted energy. The pilot light stays lit 24/7, consuming fuel even when you aren’t using the heater. It’s a small flame, but when you consider the months that you likely aren’t using your heater it can add up quickly. The second issue is the pilot light’s propensity for blowing out. While it can often be relit easily, if the pilot light does go out it prevents the entire system from starting.

Intermittent Pilot

The intermittent pilot light is an electric system, designed to combat some of the biggest flaws of the standing pilot. Rather than keep a flame burning all the time, the intermittent pilot only lights when needed. The system responds to the command for heat by using an electric spark to ignite the flame. A sensor registers the flame and lights the main burner, at which point the pilot light goes out.

This technology solves both of the standing pilot light’s main issues. However, it is a much more complicated system, and often more costly and difficult to fix.

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

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Why It’s Important To Use Professionals for Heating Service

Friday, October 17th, 2014

When you arrive home from work on an especially chilly night, you expect your furnace or boiler to keep your house cozy and warm. But if you schedule heating service with an unskilled technician, you may come home to a unit that just doesn’t do the trick. Similarly, if you attempt to repair, maintain, or even install a system on your own, you risk damaging your system further or requiring premature heating replacement. This guide details why these heating services should only be completed by a professional.

Heating Maintenance

There are a few steps you can take to maintain your heater, such as changing the furnace filter every month and watching out for any repair needs. But this is not enough; the components of your heating system wear down over time and use a lot more energy to run, raising your heating bills and increasing your risk for repairs. With professional maintenance, a technician cleans and adjusts some components and reports any major problems back to you. Using a professional with a trained eye for maintenance may lower your utilities and prevent problems from occurring later on.

Heating Repairs

Many do-it-yourself guides attempt to teach those without experience about common home repairs. Unfortunately, these guides are not always written by experts. Issues such as loud noises or reduced heating may be symptomatic of a whole host of problems, and a trained technician is the only person who can pinpoint the damage and decide on the most reliable repair method. If you attempt repairs on your own, you may not target the correct component and you risk damaging your system even more.

Heating Installation

Finally, heating installation is a complicated process that always requires the help of a professional. If you choose the incorrect boiler or furnace size for your home, you may not get the heating ability that you need or it could consume a lot of energy. Choosing a professional installer lends peace of mind that you have the heating power you need and a system that won’t fail suddenly.

If you need heating service in Salt Lake City, call on Design Comfort for quality installation, maintenance, or repairs.

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Why is NATE Certification Important with Heating Service?

Friday, October 10th, 2014

When you hire an HVAC technician to conduct maintenance or repairs, you want to be sure that you’ve hired a certified professional. Improperly maintained heating systems can cost you thousands of dollars, and even be a threat to your health. With that in mind, it is always a good idea to check your technician’s credentials before scheduling a heating service appointment. That’s where NATE comes in.

What is NATE?

NATE stands for North American Technician Excellence. It is the largest non-profit certification organization for HVAC professionals. In order to become NATE certified, HVAC technicians have to pass a series of tests to demonstrate expert knowledge in their field. These tests are themselves developed by a committee of HVAC professionals, so they accurately represent the challenges that technicians will face in their day-to-day jobs.

Why does it Matter?

NATE certified technicians have been tested by their peers and confirmed to be professionals. When you hire a NATE certified HVAC professional, you know that they are qualified to conduct any kind of repair or maintenance you might need. This is also a sign of commitment. A certified HVAC technician is a consummate professional, willing to put extra time in to prove to you how reliable he or she is. There may be some heating professionals who don’t think NATE certification is worth the effort. Who would you rather hire, though: Someone who seems capable, or someone who is proven to be capable by a third party?

Ultimately, NATE exists not only for the benefit of the customer but that of the entire industry. When a company hires a NATE certified technician, they know that person is qualified for the job. When that technician conducts a service call at your house, you know that the job will be done right the first time.

If you are looking for a company to service your heating system, look no further than Design Comfort. We only employ the most experienced HVAC technicians, all of whom are NATE certified. Our team of professionals conducts heating service throughout Salt Lake City.

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Benefits of Zone Control Heating

Monday, February 17th, 2014

When you are installing one of the many different kinds of heating systems in your Salt Lake City, UT home, you’ll have the option to put in a zone control system as well. These systems use dampers inside ductwork and a series of connected thermostats to control where the heat from the HVAC system flows. Instead of heating your entire house at once, you can choose to heat only particular “zones.” However, you don’t need to have zone control put in during installation. Skilled technicians can retro-fit your ductwork for this technology; it’s available to anyone who wants to enjoy the advantages.

Here are some of the major benefits you’ll get from a zone control system. Call Design Comfort today to talk to one of our Salt Lake City Heating Systems specialists to learn more about zone control and how we can put it to work for you.

What’s great about zone control heating

  • Energy savings: The most noticeable benefit of installing a zone control system will appear on your monthly heating bill. Unlike standard centralized heating, where you must heat the whole house whenever you need any heat at all, zone control permits you to only heat the rooms that require it. Guest rooms or unused storage areas no longer need to be heated. This will result in major savings.
  • Adjust the heat for everyone in your home: How often have you heard someone complain, “This house is too hot,” or “This house is too cold”—sometimes different people at the same time? Everyone has individual temperature needs, and zone control allows you to tailor the house’s temperature to fit them. The local thermostats give them temperature control wherever they are, so they can have the comfort they need without interfering with the rest of the house.
  • More evenly spread warmth: In a standard whole-house heater, the heat spreads out to all the rooms upstairs and downstairs at once, and the rising heat often leaves areas cold. Zone heating lets you vary where heat is going so that it spreads throughout the home in a controlled way, so new heat fills in places that will lose it as it moves upstairs.

How you can start with zone control heating

Adding a zone control system to your existing heater takes a significant amount of work: not only do dampers need to be placed inside the ducts, but a new network of thermostats must be installed that will link together as one system. However, if you call heating experts, the installation should go smoothly, and soon you’ll enjoy all the above benefits and more.

Get in touch with Design Comfort and highly trained teamed today. We can install many types of heating systems in Salt Lake City, UT, and we make your satisfaction our #1 priority.

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Replacing Your Furnace with a Different System

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Has your old reliable gas furnace at last come to the end of the line? It had to happen at some point; no matter how well you maintain a furnace, eventually the years will wear down its components to the point that it must be replaced.

But maybe you’re interested in a change. Instead of installing a new furnace, why not consider one of the other options for your Holladay, UT heating? Here are a few systems that can provide you with excellent warmth this winter. Call Design Comfort today to find out more about your replacement alternatives.

Some options to consider for replacement:

  • Heat pumps: We put this system first because it also uses ductwork to distribute heat, so it is usually a simple job for installers to connect one in place of a furnace. Heat pumps are versatile systems that function as both heaters and air conditioners, which is perfect for the temperature differences in Utah. Because of heat pumps’ more efficient use of energy (they don’t create heat, they only move it), switching to one from a furnace can mean up to 30% savings off your heating bills.
  • Boiler: If you want to switch over from forced-air heating and ductwork to the cleaner power of hydronic heating, a boiler is an excellent choice. Boilers can work from the same natural gas line used for your gas furnace, making them ideal if you still want to benefit from the lower cost of gas. Boilers perform at high efficiency and need few repairs, so they can outlast most other systems.
  • Radiant floor heating: This is also a hydronic system, but instead of using baseboard heaters (or radiators) to send out heat into a room, they use pipes built into the floor to warm up the floorboards themselves. Radiant heating is quiet and creates cozy and even heating. However, they require more construction work to install than other systems because they must be fit into your floors.
  • Ductless mini split heat pumps: This is another option for heat pumps, but they bypass the use of ductwork and instead send heated (or cooled) air directly into rooms through individual wall-mounted blower units. Ductless systems can save you money off heating because you can control the heat in different rooms through the blowers, eliminating the need to heat rooms that aren’t being used.

Whatever system you decide to have installed, make sure that you hire trained professionals to do the work. Our team at Design Comfort  can perform a heat load calculation to help you find the right sized system, and then we’ll install it so you’ll get the full benefit of your new heating in Holladay, UT.

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Take It from a Pro: How Does My Electricity Create Heat?

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

When people first think of “heating,” they imagine fire. They think of fireplaces, wood burning in stoves, and gas jets warming air in a furnace or water in a boiler. However, electricity is one of the major fuel sources for indoor heating, powering many boilers and furnaces. You might have wondered exactly how the electrical power in your home translates into heat. We’ll give you a short rundown.

If you need help with an electrical heater so you get quality holiday heating, contact Design Comfort. Our NATE-certified Holladay heating technicians are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to make sure you have a comfortable holiday season.

Electricity into heat

The key aspect of how electricity provides heat is resistance. As electricity passes through conductive material, like a copper wire, resistance causes the flow of electrons to pack together closer, and produce heat. If you’ve ever touched an incandescent light bulb, you’ll know about the heat given off from electricity going through a single electrical filament.

Let’s turn to the electric furnace and examine how it operates. The interior of the cabinet of an electrical furnace contains an array of heating elements that consist of coils made from conductive material. An electrical ignition runs current through these coils, enough to make them begin to glow red hot and give off heat. This heat transfers to the air in the cabinet, and this hot air is what goes through the vents of the system. Where gas-powered furnaces need to first transfer the combustion gases’ heat to the walls of a heat exchanger before raising the air temperature, electrical furnaces can transfer their heat more directly.

Electric boilers take a similar approach to how they transfer heat, this time raising the temperature of water. Electric heating elements are located inside the boiler tank itself—usually one near the top of the tank and one near the bottom—and turn hot as current runs through them. This directly raises the water temperature, the same way that an electric stove top boils water.

Electric heater safety

One of the advantages that electric heaters have over natural gas-powered heaters is that they are relatively safer, offering no risks from carbon monoxide leaks. But this doesn’t mean you should try to fix a broken electric furnace or boiler on your own; this kind of tampering can lead to high voltage shocks. Instead, call on HVAC repair experts. Design Comfort is prepared to handle any troubles you may have this holiday with heating your home safely and effectively. We will do everything we can to deliver you 100% customer satisfaction.

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3 Ways You Can Upgrade Your Heater Now

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

The first cold days of winter are only a few weeks away… is your home heating system ready? Even if you think it’s prepared to handle the cold, there are ways you can get even more efficient and effective warmth with an upgrade to your home’s heating system.

Here are some options available that can give you better heating right now. Design Comfort provides all these services, and many more, for when you want improved heating in Salt Lake City, UT.

Install a programmable thermostat

If you still have an old digital thermostat, or even a manual model with sliders and dials, you are missing out on energy savings and comfort. A digital system gives you more accurate control over the temperature, with a reduced margin of error. A programmable system provides you even more control: you don’t have to be home to shut the system on and off. You can program your thermostat to turn your heater on half an hour before you get home, so you will always arrive to a warm house without having to keep the heat on all day. You can program the heater to shut off when you’re asleep and turn on before you wake up. You will notice significant savings on your energy bills with an upgraded thermostat.

Zone control systems

With zone control, you no longer have to heat up the whole house every time you turn on the heater: you only need to heat the rooms that you are using. You can also tailor the heat in the house to suit individuals, or change the temperature levels in different rooms to fit the activity there (for example, keeping the kitchen cool and the dining room warm). Hire professionals to see if they can integrate a zone control system with your current heater.

A tune-up for the winter

One of the best ways to upgrade your heater is to get it back to top-line condition with an inspection and tune-up visit from an HVAC technician. You should have maintenance done every year to keep your heater in prime working condition and to catch any possible troubles before they turn into serious repairs. However, it’s never too late to start if you’ve put it off—get started with annual maintenance now, before the serious cold arrives.

Design Comfort is available to answer all your questions about heating in Salt Lake City, UT this winter. We install thermostats, zone control systems, and many different types of heating systems. We’ve been in business since 1982 and have the experience to deliver you the home comfort satisfaction you need.

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Hot Air or Radiant Heat: How to Make the Right Decision for Your Home

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Heating options in Salt Lake City aren’t limited to the traditional gas furnaces or boilers than many people are used to. True, a lot of homes still use forced-air systems to stay warm in the winter, but you’re just as apt to see other homes using heat pumps, geothermal systems and radiant heating systems instead of those older systems. Radiant heating, in particular, makes an attractive choice for a number of reasons. But which one is right for you: hot air or radiant heat? Here’s how to make the right decision for your home.

Radiant heating means running tubes or coils underneath the floor of your home. The heat comes up through the floors, warming the furnishings and people in the room in question. Contrast this with hot air: generated in the furnace and blown through your home via a system of ducts. Strictly speaking, the radiant system is more effective. It generates no breeze, it doesn’t create drafts or warm spots, and because there are fewer moving parts, it runs less risk of breakdown that a forced-air system. It’s also much more efficient, which translates to significant savings on your monthly heating bill.

On the other hand, the start-up cost tends to be much higher than a traditional gas furnace. It also involves considerably more disruption, since your floors will need to be altered in order for the system to work. Some homes simply cannot support a radiant heating system, and homes which already have an existing duct system may not consider such a radical change worthwhile. Those less efficient, forced-air systems still do a good job of heating many homes, and the installation fees may not be worth the slow, gradual long-term savings.

Educating yourself about the specifics is a good way to make the right decision for your home, and the experts at Design Comfort can help. We’ll explain the details of each system, and stand ready for installation whether it be hot air or radiant heat. We understand all the heating options in Salt Lake City, so don’t hesitate to give us a call today!

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