Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning Blog: Archive for January, 2015

Is a Hybrid System Efficient?

Friday, January 30th, 2015

In the past, your heating system may not have run as efficiently as you’d like. The older a heater gets, the more likely it is to suffer wear and tear that could reduce the performance you’re used to and cause your system to consume a lot of energy, a problem which results in higher and higher utilities as the years go on. You can lessen the impact a bit by scheduling a professional tune up every year to maintain optimal efficiency, but this can only get you so far. At some point, you’ll need a replacement system, and if you’re looking for one of the most efficient systems out there, a hybrid heating system may be the way to go.

A hybrid heating system utilizes the high efficiency of a heat pump in combination with the reliability of a standard gas furnace. Heat pumps are actually constructed using a refrigeration cycle, the same technology used for air conditioning, which means you can use your hybrid system for both heating. During the cooling season, your heat pump functions as an air conditioner, using refrigerant to absorb heat from your home and move it out of the house. In the heating season, it basically works in reverse, absorbing heat from the outside air and moving it into your home.

What makes this so efficient is that it only moves heat around, instead of consuming a lot of energy to generate heat via combustion or electrical heating elements. However, heat pumps can begin to struggle when the temperature outside drops below the “balance point” that your model and size of heat pump can handle, a common issue here in Colorado. That’s why a hybrid system includes controls that allow it to switch over to a gas furnace when necessary.

Yes, your older gas furnace may have been inefficient, but today’s models are much more regulated. Even the least efficient modern models carry efficiency ratings about 30% higher than those built several decades ago. While your heat pump will only switch into furnace mode when needed, you should know that in either mode, you’ll get maximum energy savings and reduce the wear and tear of both your heat pump and furnace.

Purchasing hybrid heating systems in Fort Collins from the friendly professionals at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning is a great way to ensure quality installation and expert service.

Give us a call to learn more about hybrid heating or to schedule an appointment with one of our technicians today!

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Why Is It Important to Have Good Ventilation in a Commercial Space?

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

You have a lot of responsibilities to take care of on your commercial property, so it can be difficult to keep track of which tasks are top priority and which can be put off for a while longer. If you’ve been putting off installing, maintaining, or repairing a ventilation system, however, you could be putting your employees and the future of your building in jeopardy.

Proper ventilation is vital in a commercial space, as it helps balance out the fresh outdoor air with the stale inside air and vents unwanted gases to the outdoors. The problem is that we tend to keep buildings sealed up tightly to improve efficiency, which could lead to a number of problems you may get in trouble for later on. We’ll go over how proper ventilation ensures better health and safety in today’s post.

Proper Ventilation for Indoor Air Quality and Better Health

Commercial ventilation is key to keeping the people on your commercial property safe from problems caused by pollutants in the air. It turns out that the air inside of a building may actually be much worse than the outside air. Those who suffer from asthma, allergies, or immune disorders are likely to become irritated by contaminants that frequently circulate through the vents. A good ventilation system installed in the ductwork allows fresh air to come into the building without affecting the efficiency of your heater or air conditioner. This can help to control humidity levels and prevent symptoms associated with respiratory issues or general illness.

Ventilating for Safety

You should also have a system in place to properly ventilate gases to the outdoors from a commercial heating system or from commercial kitchen equipment. An exhaust system helps to ensure that combustion gases and water vapor are vented safely outdoors, but this can only be guaranteed with regular maintenance of the fans and flue. Poor ventilation can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, so it’s important to have an expert inspect your heating equipment and ventilation system every year.

Call Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning today to speak with an expert about your commercial ventilation needs in Loveland today.

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Choosing a Company for Property Management HVAC Services

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

The properties that you manage have a lot of maintenance needs, some of which may be met if you plan to hire or have already hired an all-around handyperson, such as changing out a door lock or replacing a showerhead. But repairing an HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system requires a level of expertise and some special certifications in order to do the job correctly. When a tenant calls you with concerns over the performance of their heating and air conditioning system, it’s best to trust a heating and air conditioning contractor who knows the ins and outs of these systems so as not to allow the problem to worsen due to a botched repair job.

For property management HVAC services, you should choose a heating and air conditioning company with experience on many different kinds of heating and AC units, a history of excellent service, and one that offers a residential rental service agreement. This protects your investment and gives you peace of mind over the state of your property’s AC and heating system.

Enroll in a Residential Rental Service Agreement

When choosing a company for property management HVAC services, it’s best to enter into a service agreement with the contractor, although not every heating and AC service contractor provides this. A residential rental service agreement guarantees your rental property two visits each year (usually one right before the heating season picks up and one in the spring). At each visit, the technician will check the indoor and outdoor portion of your property’s HVAC system for any wear and tear. If there is a part that needs replacement, the technician will let you know so that you can schedule repairs. The HVAC unit will also receive a thorough cleaning and adjustment of parts that could struggle if they’re not in top shape. This can extend the life of your equipment, prevent repairs, and improve efficiency.

With Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning you will get a 15% discount on all repairs, fast response times on service calls 24 hours a day, convenient scheduling, and professionals who treat your property’s HVAC equipment with the utmost care. Contact us today!

When you choose the professionals at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning for property management HVAC services in Fort Collins.

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When Is It Time to Replace Your Boiler?

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Boilers are pretty unique heating systems, especially when one considers how long they can last when properly maintained. There are boilers still in use today that are over a century old, with many more that are approaching 30 or 40 years of operation. Boilers last much longer, on average, than many other heating systems. Nothing lasts forever, though, and even boilers must be replaced at some point. Let’s take a look at the signs that it’s time to replace your boiler.

Heating Bills Go Up

Heating bills fluctuate from month to month, but there is a difference between a slight shift and a consistent rise in cost. When your heating bills start going up consistently, it’s a sign that your boiler is losing efficiency. This is often caused by excessive wear and tear from years of use. It’s a subtle sign, but a pretty reliable indicator of whether or not you should replace your boiler.

More Frequent Breakdowns

All heating systems are going to break down at some point. That’s just the way it goes. However, if your system is breaking down more frequently than in previous years it may be time to look at replacing it. As the wear and tear builds up on different parts, they all begin to fail in rapid succession towards the end of a boiler’s life. This is what causes the frequent breakdowns experienced by older boilers. You could try to keep replacing the parts as they fail, but the cost of doing so will very quickly eclipse the cost of simply replacing the entire boiler. If it seems like your boiler keeps breaking down every couple of months, you should seriously consider replacing it.

Age

Age is another reliable indicator of when it’s time to replace a heating system. Though boilers occasionally buck this trend, the rule of thumb is that if your boiler is older than 15 years, it’s time to replace it. Now, if your boiler is older and doesn’t have any other issues, feel free to keep using it. Keep in mind, however, that a newer boiler would likely be much more efficient than keeping the old one.

If you’d like to know more, call Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. We provide boiler replacement services throughout Loveland.

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Contaminants that May Be Living in the Ducts

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

It can be an annoying experience to clean your home from top to bottom, only to discover you missed an obvious spot like the stovetop or the ceiling fans. While you can try to keep your home as clean as possible, there are areas that are easy to skip over, and some areas that are difficult to reach. One spot in the home that most homeowners tend to neglect is the ductwork. And while you may attempt to clean the vents in order to compensate, this may not do much to eliminate contaminants that your family members may breathe in every day.

Air duct cleaning is a job best left to professionals with the expertise and the proper tools to get the job done. Heavy duty vacuums, soft brushes, and a steady hand can help to eliminate any of the following contaminants from your home.

  • Dust Mites: Dust mites tend to dwell in warm humid places, and can become kicked up into the air and settle at various places in the home. These trigger allergies and are a common source of asthma, especially in children.
  • Pollen: Many people feel their allergies are worst when there is a lot of pollen in the air, which can move into your home and settle in the ducts.
  • Pet Dander: Pet dander is another common source of allergies that may lay hidden in the ductwork. Don’t own any pets? Keep in mind that the person who owned the home before you very well could have.
  • Bacteria: Bacteria can move from the ductwork into the living space and affect those with respiratory or immune disorders, but they can also cause people to feel ill even if they have no preexisting health conditions.
  • Mold: Mold is a fungus that survives in damp areas, and can cause respiratory trouble for any person in the home. You may be able to keep mold out of the ducts by having an expert install a UV germicidal light system over your indoor air handler.

Call Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning for air duct cleaning in Red Feather Lakes by professionals who care about the quality of the air you breathe.

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Tools Used During Professional Duct Cleaning

Monday, January 5th, 2015

For many homeowners, beginning a new year means it’s time to start over with a cleaner and more relaxing home. And while you may do all you can to dust, vacuum, and wipe down every surface of your home, there is one area that is very difficult for the average homeowner to get to: the ductwork.

Ducts are responsible for moving air into your home. While most standard forced-air heating and air conditioning systems have a filter that helps reduce the amount of particles that circulate through the air, most ducts still have some contaminants living in them.

While your home vacuum may be able to reach the area of the ducts leading out to the vents in your home, this is not the proper way to clean the ducts. Tiny organic or inorganic materials living deep in the ductwork can be forced out as the fan from the air handler of your heating and air conditioning system pushes air through, and your home vacuum cannot address most of these. With professional service, your ducts will be cleaner, which could reduce allergens in the home and the risk of illness.

The professionals at Fort Collins have the right equipment and expertise to perform a thorough duct cleaning in Severance, CO.

  • Access Tools: Professionals will use tools to access portions of the ductwork throughout the process. They may cut holes into the ducts and seal them afterwards or remove entire portions of ductwork.
  • Inspection Materials: A technician will also need some kind of tool to inspect the ducts. This may be anything from a handheld mirror to a video camera. In any case, they’ll look for any leaks that may affect the cleaning process and decide which type of equipment is best to use for your particular setup.
  • Vacuums: A high-pressure vacuum creates negative pressure in the ducts. Debris is then freed from the duct lining and it easily makes its way into the vacuum hose.
  • Brushes: However, some debris may still be stuck to the ducts afterwards. Professionals can use soft brushes before and after the process to scrape off any extra debris, taking extra care not to damage the ductwork.

The heating and air conditioning experts at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning can also provide professional duct cleaning in Severance, CO, for improved indoor air quality and peace of mind.

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When New Year’s Day Was Not on January 1st

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Some holidays fall on shifting calendar days for every year, such as Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday in November) and Easter (the first Sunday after the first full moon to occur on or after March 21). Other holidays, such as Valentine’s Day and Halloween, are fixed. No holiday has a more solid calendar date attached to it than New Year’s Day. It has to fall on January 1st because it celebrates the first day of a new year. That only makes sense…

…except that, like most things that at first appear obvious, there is a bit more to the story. The beginning of the year was not always on the first of January. As with an enormous numbers of traditions in the Western World, the establishment of January 1st as the inaugural day of a new year goes back to the ancient Romans.

The modern solar calendar is derived from the Roman model, but the earliest Roman calendars did not have 365 days in a year spread over 12 months. Instead, there were 304 days spread over 10 months. The Romans believed this calendar originated with the mythical founder of the city, Romulus. If Romulus were a real person, we can credit him with a poor understanding of the seasons, as this abbreviated calendar soon got out of sync with Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Numa, one of the Kings of Rome (probably also fictional) receives credit for creating a longer year with two added months, Ianuarius and Februarius, bringing the number of days in the year to 355. The new month of Ianuarius, named after Ianus (Janus in contemporary spelling), the god of beginnings, would eventually be known in English as January. But when this new calendar was instituted, January was not the first month. March, named after the god of war, remained the first month, and March 1st was New Year’s Day.

This extended calendar still did not keep in synch with the seasons. In 45 BCE, Julius Caesar instituted reforms to align the calendar correctly according to calculations of astronomers, with an additional 10 days distributed across the year. January also became set as the first month, and offerings to the god Janus on this day started the tradition we now know as New Year’s. The date still fluctuated during the ensuing centuries, with a number of Western European holy days treated as the beginning of the year instead. It wasn’t until the next calendar reform in 1582, the Gregorian Calendar, that the date of the New Year was fixed at January 1st.

However you choose to celebrate the beginning of the current calendar, everyone here at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning hopes you have a wonderful 2015!

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