Aurora Plumbing Company Blog: Archive for November, 2014

Is it Time to Replace My Heater?

Friday, November 28th, 2014

This is a pretty common question among homeowners who have had their heaters for a decade or more, and it’s a good thing to ask. There are a number of different things we could point to in different systems that would indicate the need to replace your heater. In the interest of keeping things simple, however, we’re going to cover the three factors that every homeowner should consider regardless of what kind of heater he or she has.

Increase in Heating Bills

Now, you can always expect a slight variance in your heating bill from month to month. You don’t use your heater the exact same amount of time each month, after all. It’s when you start experiencing consistent increases that you should be concerned. As a heater gets older, wear and tear begins to build up on the various parts of the system. This will eventually cause the parts to break, but before that happens they will slowly lose efficiency. This will cause your system to have to work harder to achieve the same results, which will lead to the increased heating bill.

Increase in Repair Frequency

A consequence of the aforementioned wear and tear, the various parts in your heater will wear out until they eventually break. Different parts wear down at different rates, which will stagger the effect a little. However, there will come a point where it seems like you have to call a repair technician every couple of months. At that point, it is very likely that your heater has reached the end of its lifespan. Once this happens, it tends to be much cheaper to replace your heater entirely than to keep paying to replace individual parts.


One of the easiest things to measure, the age of your heating system serves as a good indicator of whether or not to replace it. The rule of thumb is: if your system is over 15 years old, it might be time to consider replacing it. If it is under 15 years old, ask a professional if it is viable to keep it for a few more years.

If you think you need to replace your heater, call APC Plumbing & Heating. Our HVAC technicians provide professional heating services in the Denver area.

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Will Thanksgiving Turkey Really Make You Sleepy?

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

We’ve all heard it before: you feel so sleepy after a Thanksgiving meal because of the main event: the turkey. For years, people have credited extraordinary levels of tryptophan in turkey as the reason we all feel the need to nap after the annual feast. But contrary to this popular mythology, tryptophan is probably not he largest responsible party for your post-meal exhaustion.

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, which means it’s something that our bodies need but do not produce naturally. Your body uses tryptophan to help make vitamin B3 and serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that sends chemicals to the brain to aid in sleep. But in order to get this essential amino acid, we have to eat foods that contain it.

Turkey has somewhat high levels of tryptophan, but so do many other foods, including eggs, peanuts, chocolate, nuts, bananas, and most other meats and dairy products. In fact, ounce-for-ounce cheddar cheese contains a greater amount of tryptophan than turkey. In order for tryptophan to make you feel sleepy, you would have to consume it in excessive amounts, and serotonin is usually only produced by tryptophan on an empty stomach.

The truth is, overeating is largely responsible for the “food coma” many people describe post-Thanksgiving. It takes a lot of energy for your body to process a large meal, and the average Thanksgiving plate contains about twice as many calories as is recommended for daily consumption. If anything, high levels of fat in the turkey cause sleepiness, as they require a lot of energy for your body to digest. Lots of carbohydrates, alcohol, and probably a bit of stress may also be some of the reasons it feels so satisfying to lay down on the couch after the meal and finally get a little bit of shut-eye.

If you feel the need to indulge in a heaping dose of tryptophan this year, go ahead! Turkey also contains healthy proteins and may even provide a boost for your immune system. Here at APC Plumbing & Heating, we hope your Thanksgiving is full of joy and contentment this year. Happy feasting!

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Why Is a Boiler System Better for Allergy Sufferers?

Friday, November 14th, 2014

If you are an allergy sufferer, have you ever noticed your allergies seem to get worse every time the heater was on? It’s not just your imagination. Forced air heating systems can exacerbate allergies by circulating dust and pollen throughout the house. This forces people with allergies into a sort of catch-22. They can be warm or they can breathe well, but they can’t do both. Fortunately, there is a way to both be warm and mitigate your allergies: boiler systems.

How Does a Boiler System Heat a Home?

The most common boiler based system is called “radiant heating.” This kind of heating begins by installing pipes in the walls or subfloor of the rooms that need heat. Occasionally, these pipes will be connected to terminal points like baseboard heaters or iron radiators. The boiler then heats and distributes water through these pipes. As the water flows through the pipes, it radiates thermal energy out through the floor or walls and into the room. This thermal energy is transmitted through solid objects rather than air.

How does that help my Allergies?

The main reason that boiler systems are better for allergy sufferers is the way they transport heat throughout the house. The main problem with forced air systems is that it circulates heat by blowing air around the house. This takes all airborne allergens and contaminants along with the air, increasing the homeowner’s exposure and provoking allergic reactions. Boiler systems rely on water to circulate heat instead of air. This avoids circulating air throughout the house through ductwork, thereby preventing an increase in exposure to allergens. By doing this, you can still heat your house without having to worry about provoking your allergies with whatever contaminants are lurking in the ductwork of your home.

You also have the added benefit of having a more energy efficient heating system. Radiant heating conducts and delivers heat better than most forced air systems, saving you money in addition to improving your allergies. If you’re thinking about installing a boiler based system, call APC Plumbing & Heating. We provide heating services all over Denver.

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Reasons to Consider a Boiler

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Homeowners have many options when it comes to choosing a heating system for your home. In fact, there are so many choices it can be overwhelming to decide which system will work best for you. One choice you have is a boiler. Boilers are popular heating systems in Denver; they are very reliable and durable, and have been around for a long time because they work well. Today’s boilers are very energy efficient and have several heat distribution options, as we’ll discuss below. As with any whole-home heating system, it’s important to hire professionals for installation. APC Plumbing & Heating has been offering comprehensive heating services in Denver since 1984, so call us today!

How a Boiler Works

Boilers heat water that heats your home via hot water or steam, making them part of a hydronic system. The two main fuel types used are natural gas and oil, but you can also use propane, electricity and solid fuels. Like other heating systems, the heating process starts with the thermostat in your home cueing the ignition process. The fuel valve opens and allows fuel into the combustion chamber where it is ignited. The combustion flames heat the heat exchanger which heats the water in the boiler. Circulator pumps push the water through the piping and out to the distribution outlets (steam moves under its own pressure). The 3 main types of distribution outlets are radiators, baseboard heating and hydronic radiant floor heating. When the hot water or steam cools, it returns to the boiler for the next heating cycle.

Benefits of a Boiler System

There are several benefits to installing a boiler system in your home:

  • Good energy efficiency – the average energy efficiency of a boiler is 89%, and can go as high as 95% with a condensing boiler.
  • Gentle heating – the heat from a boiler is radiant, so it heats gradually versus the hot blowing air of a forced-air system.
  • Good for allergy sufferers – there is no circulating dust with a boiler system as there can be with a forced-air system.

One of the best ways to determine which heating system will be best for you and your home is to work with an expert. The certified technicians at APC Plumbing & Heating can help you with your heating from start to finish. Call us today!

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