The Exceptional Efficiency of Ductless Heating Systems

November 3rd, 2014

At first, it may be difficult to understand what would make someone choose ductless heating for their home. Central heating just seems so much more convenient. There’s just one thermostat that controls the whole house. You can be at the same comfortable room temperature no matter where you are in your home. Why give that up for a unit that can only heat one room? Well, read on to find out what you’ve been missing.

Why Ductless Heating?

A ductless heating system is essentially a heat pump. It consists of two units, one inside and one outside. The outside unit siphons heat from the air, while the inside one circulates that heat through the room. It’s called a ductless system because it is installed directly in the room that you want heated, rather than piping in the warm air from elsewhere in the house.

The first reason you’d want a ductless heating system is energy efficiency. Systems that use ducts often lose 20-30% of their heat on average to leaks in those same ducts. That translates to a substantially higher heating bill for you. Ductless systems essentially have no travel time between the heater and the destination, meaning that no heat is wasted in transit between locations. Making a switch will likely cause an appreciable decrease in your heating bills as a result. Since ductless systems are only meant to really serve one room, you can also save money by only heating rooms that need heating. What’s the point of heating the guest room if no one is occupying it?

The second reason to consider an upgrade to a ductless system is flexibility. Each ductless unit is operated by its own thermostat. This not only allows you to ignore rooms that you aren’t currently occupying. It also allows different occupants of the house to pick a room temperature that is most comfortable for them. No more fighting over the single thermostat that controls the heater because you have different comfort levels than your spouse, relatives, or roommates!

If you are thinking about upgrading to a ductless heating system, call Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. We install ductless heating throughout the Loveland area.

How a Whole-House Humidifier Protects You and Your Home

October 27th, 2014

When people think of humidity and feeling uncomfortable, they usually think about high humidity. High humidity levels above 60% will make warm temperatures feel far less comfortable because the moisture in the air restricts the body’s ability to release heat through sweating. High humidity will also create problems from mold growth and water damage.

But low humidity is as serious problem a problem as high humidity: it also causes discomfort, damage, and health issues. During a winter in Northern Colorado, the air can get very dry indeed, and there are times when a home will benefit from a whole-house humidifier to balance the humidity. Although you can purchase small portable room humidifiers, these are poor solutions for solving general comfort and building damage dilemmas.

How you and your home can benefit from a whole-house humidifier

  • Comfort: High humidity makes hot temperatures feel hotter; the reverse occurs with low humidity. With low moisture in the air, the heat leaves your body much faster, and cold temperatures feel sharper and less pleasant. A dry winter cold can be quite miserable, but a humidifier will give you a pleasant indoor moisture level that will make everyone in the house feel cozier. (And you’ll save money because you won’t need to run your heater as often.)
  • Health: Dry air causes cracked skin and itchy, irritated eyes. But it can do even worse than this. Low humidity will dry up sinuses and mucus membranes, which are an important defense against the transmission of airborne illnesses like flus and the common cold. A number of dangerous viruses also thrive in dry environments. You’ll experience a reduction in common winter-time ailments thanks to a whole-house humidifier. (And you’ll have fewer pains from static electrical shocks too!)
  • Building damage: Dry air sucks the moisture from surfaces as well—and that’s bad news when it comes to wood, which will begin to crack. Low humidity will cause surfaces to peel, and you don’t want valuable possessions like musical instruments and antiques to suffer damage. Installing a whole-house humidifier will help keep all parts of your home safe from the ravages of dry air.

You must have professionals do the work for installing whole-house humidifiers in Fort Collins, CO. A humidifier that’s too powerful or installed improperly will end up giving you high humidity—a whole other problem you don’t want! Look to the many decades of experience at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning when you want the right balance of humidity for your home.

Call Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning today to learn more about humidifiers in Fort Collins, CO and how they can help your indoor comfort levels.

The Importance of Properly Sealed Ductwork

October 20th, 2014

If some of the rooms in your home never cool quite as quickly as you’d like, it could indicate a problem with the ductwork. Many homeowners take their ducts for granted, forgetting that a component so hidden from view could be so vital to the performance of an HVAC system. Ducts must be in top condition in order for your HVAC system to deliver cool or heated air into your home as efficiently as possible. Unfortunately, ducts may develop cracks and holes over time that keep them from delivering their best work.

Sometimes, faulty ductwork seems like a tolerable problem. For instance, you may adjust to the fact that it takes your home longer to reach a certain temperature, or you may simply vacate the rooms where heating or cooling seems to be uneven. But duct sealing offers more benefits than simply making your home more comfortable. Here are a few reasons prompt duct sealing is so important.

Help Your HVAC System Perform at Its Best

When your ducts are leaking, air cannot reach your home as quickly as it should. This is a given, but have you thought about how this might affect your air conditioner or furnace? When air cannot enter your home with ease, your HVAC system will work harder to reach the proper temperature. This means that parts can become worn down and may eventually fail.

Besides, all the extra work does a number on your energy bills. You spend extra money every month for all of the work your system does, as it must run for longer periods of time to reach the temperature you’ve set.

Improve the Indoor Air Quality

One less obvious reason to schedule duct sealing is improving the quality of the air you breathe. Your ductwork runs through some of the dirtiest areas of your home, the parts that you can’t reach as part of your normal cleaning routine, such as a small crawlspace. As air flows through a leaky duct, it may suck up some of the dust and debris in the crawlspace as well as hazardous particles from insulation.

For professional, quality duct sealing in Loveland, call the indoor air quality experts at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning today!

The Benefits of Packaged HVAC Units for Commercial Heating

October 13th, 2014

Maintaining a comfortable temperature in your business space year-round is very important. As such, you’ll want to consider the different types of commercial HVAC systems available for business owners, one of which is a packaged unit. As the name indicates, a packaged unit contains all of your commercial HVAC components in a single, large metal cabinet. There are a number of benefits to having your HVAC system in one unit, as we’ll outline below, but for any commercial heating and cooling installation in Fort Collins, be sure to hire professionals who have commercial experience. The technicians at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning bring 80 years of experience to every job they have, including commercial work, so call us today.

What Is a Packaged Unit?

As mentioned above, a packaged unit is a large, metal cabinet that contains all the components needed for your commercial heating and cooling. The cabinet is connected to your building’s ductwork so that the air can be delivered to your business space. Packaged units can have a few configurations:

  • Hybrid cooling/heating units
  • Gas furnace/air conditioner
  • Heat pumps

What Are the Benefits of a Packaged Unit?

In addition to providing both heating and cooling, a packaged unit also offers:

  • Easy access for technicians – having all the components housed in a single unit makes it easier for technicians to access the unit for repairs and maintenance.
  • Can easily heat and cool large spaces – packaged units are designed to heat and cool large spaces; the tonnage for a packaged unit can range from 3 tons to over 20 tons.
  • Saves space – you won’t lose any indoor square footage by placing your packaged unit on the roof.
  • Safer from damage – placement on the roof means your packaged unit is safer from debris and potential vandalism.

Our Colorado winters call for reliable heating no matter where you are, and a packaged unit can help you achieve the commercial heating and cooling you need in Fort Collins.

Call Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning today and schedule an appointment with one of our expert commercial installers.

3 Advantages of Radiant Heating Installation

October 6th, 2014

Radiant heating is the movement of heat from one heated object to another, traveling through the space in between without heating that space. When you stand on black asphalt in the sun and feel the heat coming off the surface, that is an example of radiant heating.

In a home, a radiant heating system in any system that doesn’t rely on forced air distributed through ductwork or wall-mounted blowers, but instead sends heat to warm up objects inside the rooms, which then radiates the warmth to the rest of the objects in the room—particularly the people. The most common form of radiant heating is hydronic: water is heated in a boiler, then sent through pipes set down in the floorboards. The floorboards warm up and radiate waves of heat up into the rooms. This type of heating has been popular for years in Europe, and is now appearing more frequently in the U.S. because of its numerous benefits.

Here are 3 of the primary advantages of radiant heating installation in Loveland, CO. We will answer all your questions and help you discover if radiant heating is a good choice for your home.

3 benefits of radiant heating

  1. Clean heat: Because radiant heating does not use ductwork, there is no chance of the heat entering the rooms to pick up dust, dirt, and other contamination. Your home won’t suffer a drop in its indoor air quality with radiant heating. This is especially beneficial if there are people in your household who have allergies or asthma.
  2. Energy efficiency: Radiant heating moves rapidly through a room, rising from the floor and filling up the space more efficiently than forced-air heaters, which blow out the air from vents that then gathers at the ceiling. You will need to run radiant heating much less often than a standard furnace or heat pump, and that makes them long-term money savers.
  3. Cozier heat: Although it’s harder to define, radiant floor heating simply feels better than forced-air heating. There are few sensations more comforting than to have toasty warmth under your feet on a chilly morning, and people who have radiant heating often describe the feeling as like receiving direct warmth from the sun. (The sun itself is a good example of radiant heating.)

Installing a radiant heating system works easiest for new home construction, but it is also possible to retro-fit a current home to enjoy these benefits. Talk to the Loveland, CO radiant heating installation experts at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning to find out further details. Even if radiant heating isn’t the best choice for your home, we will find an efficient and cozy alternative that is.

To find out more about the practicality of installing radiant heating in your home, call our experts at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning today.

Choosing the Right System for Heating Installation in Fort Collins

September 29th, 2014

It’s easy to be overwhelmed when you start looking for a home heating system. There are a wide variety of options, each with their own pros and cons to consider. Lucky for you, our Fort Collins heating installation experts have assembled a list of a couple of heating systems and their characteristics. With our help, you’ll have the perfect heating system in no time.

Radiant Heating

Radiant heating is comprised of small tubes set into the walls and/or subfloor of your home. A boiler heats water, then runs it through these tubes to radiate heat up through the floor. There are a number of distinct advantages to using radiant heating. The first of these is efficiency. Radiant heating loses almost none of its thermal energy in transit, due to the delivery system it uses. Forced air systems, by comparison, lose about 30% of their heat to duct issues between the furnace and the vent. Radiant systems also heat rooms more evenly, creating a more comfortable environment without the cold spots that forced air systems have.

The disadvantage of radiant heating is that it is more expensive than most other systems to install. It is also more involved. Unless you are building a house, you will need to tear up your existing floor to install the tubing over the subfloor. Not many people are willing to go to such lengths for a heating system upgrade.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are outdoor units which operate by siphoning heat from the surrounding environment and pumping into your home. They are more efficient and cost effective than traditional furnaces, and can even function as an air conditioner. Geothermal heat pumps take heat from underground instead of the surrounding air. By taking advantage of the constant temperature underground, the heat pump doesn’t have to work nearly as hard to keep your home warm. The pros of this system include energy savings and versatility. The cons include a loss of efficiency in extremely cold environments and, in the case of geothermal, a more upfront investment.

There are many more options available, and we’ve barely scratched the surface here. We’re experts in heating installation, and we cover the entire Fort Collins area.

If you would like to know more about what heating system could best serve your home, call Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning today. 

Don’t Wait to Call a Professional for Boiler Repair

September 22nd, 2014

It can be very tempting, especially when your boiler is still heating your home, to continue putting off heating repairs. Unfortunately, there are almost always consequences to waiting, and they may cost you in several ways. The technicians at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning can help you with any boiler repair in Loveland – just give us a call.

Common Boiler Problems

Here are some common boiler problems our technicians see:

  • Problems with a circulating pump – the circulating pumps in your system push the hot water or steam through the piping to heat your home. These pumps can malfunction, which can result in a lack of heating.
  • Loss of pressure – leaks that develop in your system can cause the pressure to drop, which interferes with the system’s operation.
  • Scaling in the pipes – mineralization build-up, also known as scaling, can develop in your pipes, particularly if you have hard water in your system. Scaling can significantly reduce the flow in your pipes, and even cause a clog if built up enough.
  • Cold radiators – a cold radiator can be indicative of a blocked pipe or an issue with a circulating pump.
  • Pilot light keeps going out/won’t light – this can indicate a few problems, including issues with the thermocouple or dirt buildup in the pilot.

Why Call Immediately?

There are a few reasons you should call for boiler repair as soon as you can:

  • You don’t want to lose heat – heating systems typically break down on the coldest days because that’s when they are working the hardest; if you are aware of a problem, it’s better to get the problem fixed as soon as possible.
  • You don’t want to lose energy efficiency – fuel costs aren’t cheap, and a poorly-running boiler will cost you more in energy because it needs to work harder, and, as such, will use more energy.
  • It could be dangerous – Noxious fumes and gases can leak from cracks and leaks in your boiler system, causing serious problems.

Fall is a great time of year to repair your boiler in Loveland because it isn’t too cold yet.

If you are experiencing problems with your boiler, call Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning and schedule a repair appointment with one of our trained specialists.

How Do Hybrid Heating Systems Work?

September 15th, 2014

It’s getting chilly outside, and that means one thing for your home: it’s time to start thinking about heating! Homeowners have multiple options when it comes to heating systems, and two major factors many consider when choosing a heating system are energy efficiency and environmental friendliness. If these factors are on your list of needs, you may want to consider a hybrid heating system. As many people know, heat pumps are very energy efficient and environmentally-friendly. However, heat pumps need a back-up heating system for regions with winter temperatures below 32 degrees, which is what we have in Colorado. A hybrid heating system combines two systems – a heat pump and a gas furnace – into one system to allow you the benefits of a heat pump while providing the back-up heating of a furnace. Professional heating installation is a must when it comes to hybrid systems, and Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning have the knowledge and experience to help you with all your heating needs.

How Does a Hybrid System Work?

As we discussed above, a hybrid system is the combination of an electric heat pump and a gas furnace. The heat pump is the lead source of heat and the gas furnace serves as back-up. The heat pump resides outside and the gas furnace stays indoors. The heat pump heats your home until the outdoor temperature reaches a designated degree; once this temperature is reached, the system automatically switches the heat source to the gas furnace.

The way the system knows to switch heat sources is by the use of an indoor, programmable thermostat that is equipped with a dual-fuel mode feature and a sensor on the outdoor heat pump. As the homeowner, you designate a “set-point” temperature in the thermostat, which becomes the trigger temperature to change heating methods from the heat pump to the gas furnace. This set-point temperature is determined by your regional climate. When the temperature outside falls below your set-point temperature, the system will automatically switch from the heat pump to the gas furnace.

If you’ve been looking for a way to gain the benefits of a heat pump, a hybrid heating system may be just the heating system you’ve been waiting for.

Call Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning today and speak to one of our heating installation experts about hybrid heating options for your home.

Why Use a Professional Technician for Air Conditioning Maintenance

September 8th, 2014

There are many appliances around a home that require regular maintenance to keep them in proper working order and to extend their service life. For many of these devices, you can perform the necessary maintenance yourself through cleaning, adjustments, or replacing basic components that you can purchase in a store.

However, there are some appliances in your home that requires regular maintenance from professional technicians. One of the most important is the air conditioning system. There are some measures you can take to help improve the AC’s performance and extend its lifespan, but actual annual maintenance must come from a trained HVAC technicians. The best way to have this service done is to enroll in a maintenance program with a reliable local heating and air conditioning company.

When you contact Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning for maintenance in Fort Collins, CO, you’ll receive the high quality work from a company that has been in the business of comfort since 1934.

Here’s why you need a professional for AC maintenance

Air conditioners are intricate electro-mechanical devices that rely on a balance of electronic components, motors, the circulation of refrigerant, and drainage to work correctly. There are simply too many working parts for people without training to handle the necessary service.

When an air conditioning technician comes to a home for a maintenance visit, the inspection and tune-up work includes the following:

  • Removing and cleaning the condenser and evaporator coils
  • Lubricating and cleaning the motors
  • Testing the electrical system and making necessary adjustments
  • Checking the airflow
  • Establishing refrigerant is properly charged
  • Cleaning the condensate drain
  • Changing the air filter
  • Making any needed replacements for capacitors
  • Checking on thermostat calibration

With the exception of changing the air filter (something you should do every month while the AC operates regularly) all of these tasks require a professional to handle them. If you attempt to tinker around inside an air conditioner cabinet on your own, you could end up causing damage. Leave the cabinet shut and instead delegate the maintenance work to a technician with extensive experience.

Sign up for maintenance today

It’s easy to get started with air conditioning maintenance in Fort Collins, CO. You only have to sign up for the maintenance program available through Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. We provide top-level technicians with NATE-certification, state-of-the-art technology, and ongoing training to inspect and tune-up your air conditioner.

Let Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning give you peace of mind that your cooling system will be ready whenever you need it next. Call us for maintenance today!

The History of Labor Day

September 1st, 2014

The official end of summer and the beginning of fall lands on September 23rd, which marks the Autumnal Equinox, when the plane of the Earth’s equator passes the center of the sun and the length of day and night are roughly equal. However, for most people in the U.S., the summer really concludes with Labor Day, the first Monday in September. Labor Day and Memorial Day (the last Monday of May) together serve as the bookends of the summer.

The Labor Day Holiday is a time that people in this country associate with a last summer blast: another reason for an outdoor picnic, a chance for a three-day vacation, family trips to amusement parks, and of course, taking advantage of numerous sales that retailers always offer. (Labor Day is often the second largest shopping day of the year after Black Friday in November.) It’s also the point when school traditionally goes back in session, although some schools start a week earlier and some a week later.

Labor Day’s origins lie in the 1880s. In 1882 Matthew Maguire, a machinist in New York City who was secretary of the Central Labor Union (CLU) at the time, and Peter J McGuire of the American Federation of Labor (AFL), first proposed a celebration of the hard working men and women of the United States. However, five years would pass before the first state made it an official holiday, Oregon. Other states quickly followed this example, although not all selected a date in September.

By 1894, thirty states had started Labor Day celebrations. President Grover Cleveland signed the law that made Labor Day a federal holiday only a week after Congress voted unanimously to approve the legislation. The date chosen for the holiday was the same one that Maguire and McGuire had originally proposed.

The U.S.A. is not the only country that celebrate Labor Day on the first Monday of September. Canada observes the holiday as well, although they spell it “Labour” Day. In fact, Canada celebrated the occasion earlier than the U.S., and was an early inspiration in this country for the development of the holiday.

All of us here at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning hope you and your family—whether at work or at play—enjoy a relaxing and memorable Labor Day weekend and have a fantastic start to the fall.