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

Choosing the Right System for Heating Installation in Fort Collins

Monday, 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. 

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Don’t Wait to Call a Professional for Boiler Repair

Monday, 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.

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How Do Hybrid Heating Systems Work?

Monday, 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.

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Why Use a Professional Technician for Air Conditioning Maintenance

Monday, 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!

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The History of Labor Day

Monday, 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.

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