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Radiant Heat To Warm Your Home

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If you hate walking on a cold floor in the winter time or suffer from allergens blowing around with the dust from your heater vents, you should consider some alternatives. After all, the best heating system is the one you don’t even realize is there, and a radiant heating system is just such a heating system. Radiant floor heating, Seattle, is growing in popularity, because it is practically invisible and is highly efficient in heating the house.

Radiant heat is a terrific way to heat your home. You don’t have to worry about radiators clanking away through the night, nor do you need to worry about vents whooshing air like a 747 about to take off. There is also no ductwork to worry about, just a blanket of heat right at your feet where you want it.

Radiant heat floor systems work by running hot water tubes or electric wires under the floor. These send heat up through the floor, warming up any objects they hit, which then radiate the heat for you to enjoy. The air temperature remains relatively constant, but you stay comfort because the surfaces you stand and sit on are warm and don’t steal the heat from your body.

On the other hand, a conventional heating system sends air baked to 120º F through the registers, which quickly rises to the ceiling and drops back down as it cools. You end up with the upper half of your body warm while the lower half of your body freezes.

Conventional heating also has a problem with cycling, where the furnace runs for a while then shuts off when it reaches a certain temperature at the thermostat. You’re left in the cold when the warm air shuts off, and you stay that way until the temperature at the thermostat falls back down below the threshold you have set.

With a radiant floor heating system, Seattle, you will enjoy constant temperatures no higher than 85º F, all throughout the day. The warm air rises from the floor, but in this case it rises in an even, consistent manner over the entire floor, so the coolest air is always at the ceiling. This way, you get to enjoy constant warmth without any cycling between warm and freezing.

Another benefit to radiant floor heating is the ease with which you can set up multiple, individual heating zones. Got a room that barely gets used? With the right installation, you can turn down the heat to that room and save on your heating bills. Somebody want one room to be warmer than the rest of the house? No problem! The ease with which you can cater a radiant floor heating system to individual room needs is unparalleled by conventional heating systems.

Radiant heating systems may be more expensive to install, but they are much more efficient and you will find them much better at keeping you warm. If you are building a new home, especially, you might want to consider a radiant floor heating system. However, even an existing home can be renovated with radiant floor heating by retrofitting your existing setup. This system will be up to 30 percent more efficient than the traditional forced air heating, depending on how well insulated your home is, and you’ll benefit from much better comfort levels in your home.

Choosing The Right Geothermal Heat Pump

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 11.25.51 AMAre you heating your home using any electrical appliances? If you are, like most of us, then you should consider getting a geothermal heat pump system.  Geothermal heat pump systems are incredibly energy-efficient. In fact, geothermal heat pumps provide more energy savings than any other heating appliance and provide effective heating in the mild to moderate temperature conditions. They also provide much more heating than their any other electrical counterparts.

Types of heat pumps

There are primarily three types of heating mechanisms available for heating your home. First, is air to air, the second is using water as a heat source, and the third is using the earth’s  heat as the heat source.  This last type of heating mechanism is also called geothermal heating. The way the heat pumps work is pretty simple. They collect the heat from different sources depending upon the type of heat pump and then push it inside your house. The heat pumps can also work in the reverse way to cool your house. They will collect the heat from inside the room and then push it outside. This will result in cooling of the room. If you are looking to buy geothermal heat pump Seattle, choosing a geothermal heat system is an excellent idea.

Geothermal pump installation

If you want your geothermal Seattle heat pump to work effectively you will need to make sure that it is installed properly by an experienced technician. For your geothermal pump to maintain its efficiency, the installation needs to be absolutely perfect. The size of the heat pump depends upon your requirements (heating or cooling requirements). To get the right installation of Seattle geothermal make sure that you understand your requirements well. A good understanding of the kind of soil and moisture conditions will also be handy.

Benefits of a geothermal pump

Geothermal pumps are far more effective and efficient than the conventional heating.  Geothermal pumps are especially more effective than air pumps in very cold climates.  They are also much less noisier than the traditional air pumps. The initial cost of geothermal pumps are pricier than the conventional pumps, but you will see a drastic reduction in your energy bills and over a period of time your money will be recovered.

A quiet heating system

Geothermal heat pumps are generally quieter than conventional furnaces, but even among geothermal systems there can be variation.  When choosing a system, buy a geothermal heat pump which has less than 7.6 decibels or lower of sound rating. The lesser the value, the less noise it will make when installed outside.  If you are installing a geothermal heat pump in the house which does not already have any heat pump installed you will need to get the ductwork enlarged. The duct size requirement for the heat pumps is usually greater.

Maintenance

Regular maintenance of your geothermal heating pump will ensure that it functions properly and efficiently for years to come. Regularly clean and lubricate the motor (at least once in a year). Also, to make sure that there is enough flow of air for normal operations, you should inspect your vents and ducts annually. Fan speed should also be checked from time to time. Incorrect speed can result in undesired performance.

 

 

Tips Before Buying A New HVAC System

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 2.11.36 PMIf you are planning to buy a new HVAC system then it will probably be one of the most important decisions you will make because it will ensure that your house remains comfortable and healthy.  Installing an HVAC system is no child’s play, however, once installed properly it is guaranteed to give you comfort all year-round.

But it is not only the comfort that HVAC is capable of providing, there are other benefits too.  HVAC system technology has improved a great deal in last few years.  This, coupled with the advancements in the installation process, helps you in not only reducing the energy bills but also helps improve the quality of air you breathe.  But before you make a choice on a Seattle HVAC system, there is one thing you must keep in mind.  Your HVAC system has the capability to last for over 10 years.  This is the reason why it is very important for you to make the right choice.  Here are some tips for you if you are planning to buy an HVAC system in Seattle or service from an area provider.

Pick a trusted and reputed Seattle HVAC Contractor.

As you may already know, you need to be a bit cautious before picking the right HVAC for you, make sure you buy it from a trusted and reputed contractor.  Remember that the cooling and heating mechanism is a very complicated process and not everyone is an expert in delivering the right quality.  Before you pick one of the HVAC contractors Seattle has to offer, make sure that you have properly done your research on them.  One of the best ways, to find out whether a contractor is good or not, is by speaking to people who have already purchased from them.  If the feedback is satisfactory, go ahead and make the purchase.  However, if the feedback is mostly negative, stay away from the contractor.  You can also look for the contractor feedback over the internet.  Additionally, you can look up on the forums that talk about HVAC and heating and figure out whether the contractor feedback is good or bad for find review sites like Yelp or Angie’s list.  Another important point to consider is the length of time the contractor has been in business. Generally the longer the duration of the business the better the chances of providing quality HVAC.

Consult the HVAC experts.

Every house is different and hence the HVAC requirements are also different.  You need to know what type of HVAC installation will suit your house the best.  This will not only help you determine the right budget for installation, it will also guarantee that the comfort and health benefits are maximized.  To ensure that you get the right HVAC for your house, it will be advisable to consult an HVAC expert.  A good Seattle HVAC contractor will always give you the best advice as he would want to get the positive word-of-mouth feedback from you.  However, if you want an unbiased opinion, you can always consult an independent HVAC expert.

Don’t always go for the lowest price.

Before getting the HVAC installed in your house, you may need to contact multiple contractors to find the best for yourself.  But do remember that the one offering you the lowest price may not necessarily be the best supplier.  In fact, the one who bids the lowest may end up compromising on certain aspects of HVAC installation.  Therefore, it is advisable that you choose a contractor that is capable of delivering service that suits your house the best.

Tips On Radiant Floor Heating Systems

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 1.55.42 PMIf you are planning to get a heating system for your home,  an air furnace is not the only option for you.  In fact, there is another option that not only helps you save energy but also helps you create a healthier ambiance at home.  Additionally, it also helps make your home more comfortable.  The technology involves heating of the house using the floor.  It is called radiant floor heating technology.

With radiant floor heating, your house gets heated via an installation on the floor and the heating distribution takes place from bottom to top (ground to up).  The radiant heating system gives you the same comfort as the air furnace but consumes much less energy.  It also does not produce noise as is the case with the air furnace.  The temperature is also much easier to control.  Even if you already have a concrete floor, you can still get the radiant heating system installed.  There are radiant heating mats available and they don’t even raise the height of floor.

Get informed before you get the radiant heating system installed.

If you are planning to get a radiant floor heating system installed in your Seattle home, it is advisable that you learn a few things about it first.  It is very important for you to understand the heating needs of your house first before you pick the right system for yourself.  Once you have identified the needs, the next task would be to understand how the radiant heating systems work.  When you are well informed about these two things, you will be able to communicate your needs more effectively to the seller.  In this way, you will be able to get the most suitable heating system installed in your house.  The best way to learn about radiant heating is through vendors.  Since the vendors wish to make a sale, they will be more than willing to help you with your questions.  You can also learn more about a radiant heat system by looking around the internet.

Find a qualified and professional designer and installer.

If you are planning to get the radiant heat system installed in your Seattle house, you would also like to make sure that you get the best bang for your money spent.  Therefore, it is of paramount importance that you hire an expert designer and installer for your house.  Your first job should be to find out more about the vendor from who you are purchasing the system.  You can do the referencing and ask for people who have already made purchases from that vendor.  You can also look up for the vendor feedback on the internet and read reviews.  A qualified designer will have complete knowledge of the radiant heating system.  He will know everything about the component and installation procedure.  He will also be able to customize the installation according to the heating needs of different rooms in your house as well as the local building and environmental codes.

Understanding the radiant heating system

A radiant floor heating system is embedded in the concrete of the floor. This means that it should be effective enough to radiate the heat through the concrete floor.   While designing the system, the designer should keep in mind whether you will use any additional floor covering, such as a floor matting, wooden tiling, or another cover.  The heating level should be adjusted keeping this in mind.  Additionally, the installer should know what part of the floor will not be used for heating.  For instance, if there is a cabinet kept over the floor, the floor area underneath it should not have the installation.  This will save you installation money and energy savings as well.

Tips On Buying Solar Panels For Your Home

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 1.48.00 PMBuying a solar panel for your home could be a pretty exciting project.  More and more people these days have started opting for energy saving sources of power. A solar panel, when properly installed, can save you a lot of money on the energy bills.

However, before you make a choice, you will need to be very careful about the company from which you are picking the solar panel. For instance, if you are picking a provider of solar power systems in the Seattle area, it will be a good idea to first conduct  thorough research and then get the right system installed. If you end up installing a wrong solar panel, it could be quite troublesome in the future.

Don’t get carried away. 

There are many Seattle solar companies and chances are you may get carried away by their luring advertisements. It is highly recommended that you do not fall for the advertisements. Instead, before finalizing your purchase educate yourself thoroughly. First of all, you need to understand your requirements. If you have identified your purpose, it will be easier for you to get the right Seattle solar panels. Then next thing you need to do is find the right company. Remember that installing solar panel is not really cheap and you would like to ensure that the one you get for your house is the most appropriate one. Once installed, you may not get the new one for a very long time.

Seek recommendations first.

No matter how convincing the promotions of a company for solar power in Seattle are, don’t buy just because you found the advertisements attractive. Instead, it will be a good idea to find the real customers who have already invested money in Seattle solar energy and get their feedback. The word-of-mouth recommendation is the most effective form of promotion. If you find the feedback convincing, you will be confident about buying from the company. You can also seek feedback from your friends and family members who have already had solar panel installed in their house.

What is the manufacturer warranty?

One of the most important points to consider before buying the solar panels is the length of the manufacturer warranty. The warranty should be for a long duration of time (at least 20 to 25 years). If the warranty is this long, you can be assured that the company is confident of its solar panels and they will last for a long time. This also means that you will save a lot of money on the energy bills in the long run. However, there is another point that you will need to consider – it is whether the company will continue to operate for such a long time. Therefore, it is important that you buy the solar energy Seattle from a reputed vendor.

Pay more for a better product.

You will need to be practical about the money you spend for the solar panels. If you are planning to get away with the installation by paying a considerably lower price, you are very likely to get a substandard solar energy system. They may look price effective in the beginning but in the long run they will prove to be costly. It is a onetime investment and it is advisable that you do not hold yourself back and pay what it takes in the beginning. Once a good quality system is installed, it will pay for itself in the long run.

Best Ways To Save On Home Heating Costs

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 12.02.14 PMSeattle solar power use and radiant heat is higher than the national average, but the amount of money spent on heating and cooling our homes still makes up the majority of our energy bill. Heating and cooling account for 56 percent of the energy use in a typical American home, according to the Department of Energy. Aside from regular HVAC maintenance, there are a number of things you can do to reduce your home heating costs and save you money.

1. Insulate. Insulation is your home’s all-purpose force field against high energy bills. It minimizes heat transfer in winter and summer, provides ventilation to control moisture and makes your home more livable. Bringing your attic insulation up to code for your region is one of the most cost-effective ways to winter-proof your home. Before you blow insulation, be sure to seal all ductwork, plumbing and cable TV penetrations. Leaky ducts can account for 10 percent to 30 percent of heating and cooling costs.

2. Adjust your thermostat. You can save 10 percent on your winter heating bills by adjusting your thermostat 10 to 15 degrees cooler for the eight hours you’re at work, according to the Department of Energy. Cut it back an additional eight hours when you sleep and you might save 20 percent.

A programmable thermostat helps you easily adjust your home’s temperature and is a wise investment.

3. Reduce the temperature of your hot water. The Department of Energy estimates that water heaters account for 14 percent to 25 percent of our monthly energy bill. Water heaters are often factory-set at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, hot enough to scald. The Department of Energy says most of us can live comfortably with 120-degree water. You can save 3 percent to 5 percent on your water heating costs for every 10 degrees of setback.

To save even more, you can reduce hot water use with low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators, jacket the heater and wrap hot water pipes to minimize stand-by heat loss, and install a timer to take advantage of cheaper off-peak power. For greater savings, ditch the tank entirely and invest in an energy-saving on-demand tankless water heater.

4. Insulate your windows. Many homes lose costly heat the old-fashioned way: through outdated windows. Double-pane thermal windows arrest the heat transfer by inserting dead-air space, a poor conductor, between two panes. Unlike single-pane windows, which can lose more heat in winter than they let in, energy-efficient windows enable homes to take advantage of free solar heating during chilly weather.

As a make-do plan, create your own energy-saving dead-air space by affixing clear plastic sheeting over the interior opening of unused windows.

5. Winterize your chimney. Although your chimney probably has a working damper, it’s unlikely to be airtight. Poke your hand up inside the flue and you’ll probably feel the draft. Because masonry retrofits can prove costly and chimney caps are cumbersome during fireplace season, most homeowners opt to place fitted glass fireplace doors over the fireplace.

Other tips:

  • Reverse your ceiling fans: It will help circulate rising heated air down to where you need it.
  • Close heating vents and doors to little-used rooms.
  • Insulate outlets and light switches with inexpensive switch insulators
  • Replace the light bulbs you leave on longest with CFL, or compact flourescent light, bulbs. They use 75 percent less energy and save $40 in energy costs over their lifetime.
  • Take advantage of federal and state tax rebates, including Energy Star appliance upgrades.
  • Have your home’s HVAC system serviced yearly.
  • Clean and replace filters on your furnace once a month or as needed to permit better air flow through the house.

Top Reasons to Choose Solar Energy

House with solar panels.Using solar energy to heat and power your home has many benefits.  Whether economic, environmental, or personal, all of these benefits are fueling the Seattle solar power boom.  Installing solar panels or photovoltaic systems, commonly called “pv systems”, are increasingly popular.  If you look around, you’ll probably notice that more and more of your neighbors are installing solar panels on their homes.  Here are the top reasons why you should choose solar energy, too:

Considerably reduce your electric bills.
Electricity costs can make up a large portion of the overall budget for your home or business. With a solar panel system, you’ll be generating free power over your system’s 25-30 year life cycle. Even if you don’t produce all of the energy you consume, your utility bills still will be much smaller. Either way, you’ll be saving a lot of money.

Solar energy is a great investment.
Solar panels aren’t an expense. They’re an investment that pays handsome returns often rivaling those of more traditional investments such as stocks or bonds. Substantial savings as well as the potential in some areas to generate revenue result in ROIs of 20% or more, making solar one of the best ways to invest your dollars.

Protect yourself against rising energy costs.
Because energy prices are so unpredictable, they make managing your budget very difficult, especially for businesses or homeowners whose cash flow fluctuates from month to month. By making these costs more predictable, solar power systems have the added benefit of improving a home or business owner’s expense management capabilities.

Increase your home’s value.
Studies have found that buildings and homes equipped with clean energy systems have higher property values, selling twice as fast and at a premium of 3-4% over similar homes in the same neighborhood.  This is especially so in Seattle where home buyers are green-energy savvy.  Appraisers are increasingly taking solar installation into consideration as they value the home at the time of a sale. As appraisers and consumers become more educated, homes or commercial properties equipped with solar panel systems will be more in demand and may even get even a higher premium.

Decrease dependence on foreign oil.
Solar energy is a pathway to achieving U.S. energy independence from foreign oil. Because we consume far more oil than we produce (25% vs. 3%), the U.S. is not only dependent on foreign sources for our oil, but we’re also transferring billions of dollars from our economy to oil producing countries, many of which have links to funding global terrorism.

Protect the environment.
Solar panels, or photovoltaics, produce clean energy and its one of the biggest reasons why homeowners are choosing solar to heat and power their homes.  Buildings are responsible for close to 35% of all carbon emissions in the U.S. and going solar can decrease that number significantly. According to the EPA, the average household emits approximately 20 metric tons of carbon pollution each year. By installing a solar power system, a typical two-person household eliminates between 3 and 4 tons of carbon annually—roughly the equivalent of planting over 100 trees every year.  To increase your sustainability practices, look for a made in Washington photovoltaic panel for your Seattle Solar Panel needs.