Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning Blog: Archive for January, 2014

3 Important Water Heater Components

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Hot water is a vital part of your daily life. Without your hot water heater working for you, it would be difficult to cook, wash dishes, do laundry, or keep yourself clean. If you take good care of your heater with regular maintenance and prompt repairs, you should have few worries about losing your hot water supply.

At Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning, our technicians have worked on water heaters in Wellington, CO, for many years. Below are three key components they repair and replace. These components are part of a gas-powered storage water heater, the kind found most commonly in homes. There are also electric and tankless water heaters, which operate differently.

3 Key Parts of a Water Heater

  • Sacrificial anode rod: A water heater contains metal in contact with water…the perfect recipe for corrosion and rust. But why doesn’t a water heater rust under normal conditions? It’s because of the sacrificial anode rod inside bolted to the top of the tank which then extends down into it. The anode rod does the job of stopping corrosive action from entering the tank by “sacrificing” itself to the corrosion instead. The anode rod must eventually be replaced when it corrodes completely, or else corrosion will begin to enter the tank. With regular maintenance for your water heater, the anode rod will get replaced in time.
  • Dip tube: This is where cold water enters the tank of a water heater and moves to where it will be heated from the gas burners. Because hot water rises, the cold water drops down the dip tube toward the lower part of the tank, over the burners.
  • Exhaust flue: The exhaust flue both removes the combustion gases from the burner unit, and helps to transfer heat from the gases to the water. The flue runs up through the center of the tank and then out the top where the gases are safely vented. It is crucial that the flue vents properly and isn’t blocked. Water heaters need professional care.

If you discover you’re losing hot water, you need to have a professional look at the water heater to find out what is wrong. You can’t do heating system repairs yourself, especially with a gas-powered unit, unless you have the proper training and tools.

You should also entrust the maintenance of your water heater to an expert. A yearly visit from a technician will make sure that all the components of your heater are working correctly, the exhaust is venting safely, and no corrosion has entered the tank because of a rusted anode rod. If there are any repairs needs, the technician will find them and you will be able to schedule repairs before your hot water supply is harmed.

Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning has served Northern Colorado since 1934. Call us today and schedule a service appointment for your next heating service in Wellington, CO, and trust us to take care of all the parts of your water heater.

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Why You Should Hire Professionals to Handle Your Commercial HVAC Repairs in Bellvue

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Most commercial HVAC systems are flexible and reliable, allowing you to keep your employees, customers, or tenants feeling comfortable no matter what the weather is like outside. Like any other mechanical system, however, they suffer from occasional breakdowns. If your system breaks down, you not only want it fixed fast, you want it to be fixed right the first time. Here’s why you should hire licensed professionals to handle your Bellvue commercial HVAC repairs.

In the first place, you want to get your system up and running quickly when it goes down. To do otherwise is to make your employees or tenants less comfortable and to discourage customers from entering your place of business. A trained professional knows exactly when to look for, while a more general handyman (such as the kind employed in most buildings) will probably need to hunt awhile before finding the issue. Hiring a professional saves time and effort, which translates to retained business and happier employees overall.

Then there’s the question of reliability. A professional can offer guarantees that any work they do will be to your satisfaction. That comes on top of the specialized expertise you get with a professional service technician, meaning that those guarantees are backed up by experience. If you don’t hire a licensed HVAC contractor, then you’re still responsible if something goes wrong with the repairs. Even worse, if you end up damaging other components in the process, then you’ll be on the hook for those repairs as well.

The best reasons to hire professionals to handle your commercial HVAC repairs come down to money. Specifically, the money you save and the peace of mind that comes with that. If you need commercial HVAC repair in Bellvue, call the pros at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. We’re experts in these kinds of systems and we stand by every aspect of our work so you know it’s being done right. Call us today to make an appointment.

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Why is their Frost on My Heat Pump?

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

Why is there frost on my heat pump?” It seems counter-intuitive, but it’s one of the most common issues faced with heat pump repair in Bellvue. Heat pumps work reasonably well in Colorado, especially when combined into a hybrid unit to help it carry the load on those cold winter nights. But problems can always arise, and frost build-up is one of them. To understand how it is created, it is important to understand how heat pumps work.

Heat pumps cycle refrigerant to help warm and cool the air. The frost issue usually occurs at the evaporator coils, where liquid refrigerant returns to a gaseous state and pulls heat out of the surrounding air in the process. Heat pumps usually have two sets of coils, one indoor and one outdoor. In the summer, the indoor coils serve as the evaporator in order to cool the air. In the winter, the outdoor coils perform that function, releasing the cool air outside instead of in your home.

That process requires specific amounts of refrigerant to work; the exact amount depends on the precise brand and model of your heat pump. If the refrigerant levels are too low – usually because a leak has sprung up in the system – then the process is knocked off kilter and frost shows up on the coils. That frost represents lost cooling potential that is stuck on the surface of the coils instead of moving into your house (or safely out of the system in the winter). Moreover, it serves as an insulator between the refrigerant and the air it’s trying to cool, further restricting the process.

Unfortunately, you can’t just scrape the ice off and expect it to get better. The problem lies with the lower levels of refrigerant and besides, scraping the ice off may damage the coils. Fortunately, a trained expert can hunt down the source of the leak and seal it before recharging refrigerant levels to their required levels. If you’re asking “why is there frost on my heat pump?” then the professionals at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning are ready to help. We handle heat pump repair in Bellvue, and our staff is well trained in dealing with refrigerant leaks. Call us today to set up a repair session!

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3 Advantages of Tankless Water Heaters

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

When people think of water heaters, the image they conjure up is of a large water tank that stores a supply of hot water for use. However, these storage systems are not the only kind of water heater available today. More and more homeowners are opting to install on-demand water heaters, also known as tankless water heaters because they do not require the storage of water in a tank.

Tankless water heaters work through electrical elements that heat up water in the pipes as hot water is needed. When someone turns on a hot water faucet, the system heats water for immediate use. In general, tankless water heaters cost more to install than traditional storage systems, but they offer immense advantages that can outweigh the cost of the initial investment. Here are 3 of the main ones to consider.

If you have more questions about installing water heaters in Berthoud, CO, contact us at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning.

Tankless water heater benefits

  1. No running out of hot water: A storage system has water ready when you need it—but it can also run out of hot water and require time to heat up another tank. All of us have experienced the discomfort of running out of hot water and getting stuck with a cold shower. But tankless systems do not have this trouble: they heat the water as you require it, so you won’t run out of hot water.
  2. Efficient energy use: This is where the tankless water heater begins to pay for itself. You only use energy to heat up water when you actually need hot water. The heating elements turn on when there is a demand for hot water. By contrast, a storage system must maintain constant heat to keep the water in the tank ready for use. Storage systems can use up to 20% more energy than a tankless system.
  3. Longer lifespan: Storage water heaters are at a greater risk from corrosion because they keep water constantly in a tank. They are also much larger than tankless systems and have more moving parts that can wear down. On average, a tankless water heater lasts 5 to 10 years longer than a storage water heater—another way that a tankless system will pay for itself.

Should you install a tankless water heater?

Although these are fantastic advantages, a tankless system might not be ideal for your home. Whether you get one or go for a storage system depends on your budget and water use. Tankless systems can have trouble heating up water fast enough, and will lose efficiency if too many taps are on at once. Talk to a water heater expert to find out if tankless is the right choice for you.

When it comes to installing, repairing, and maintaining water heaters in Berthoud, CO, you can trust to Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ve served Northern Colorado for 80 years.

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