Aurora Plumbing Company Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Heating Installation’

Is It Time to Replace Your Heating System?

Monday, February 15th, 2016

When an older heater finally breaks down, you have to spend a lot of time searching around for the perfect replacement, waiting for the heater to be installed, and allowing your technicians to do a quality inspection and performance test. We recommend that you replace your heating system before it breaks down, so that you won’t have to deal with the possibility of a sudden breakdown.

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Radiant Heating and Forced-Air Heating Systems: Which Is Better?

Monday, January 18th, 2016

The right heating system is tough to choose, especially since there are so many options available on the market today. First, you’ve got a big decision to make: will you have a forced-air heater that moves heat into the air, or will you have a radiant heating system that transfers heat directly to a room?

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Heating Installation Guide: Why Knowing Your Home’s Square Footage Isn’t Enough

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Rules of thumb are good for things like changing your car tires or gardening. What they aren’t good for is installing a heating system into your home. Multiple factors need to be considered when you need to install a new heating system, and square footage is just one piece of the puzzle. One of the best ways to ensure that you install a heating system that is right for both you and your home is to work with a trained professional from start to finish. The experts at APC Plumbing & Heating have installed multiple heating systems over the years, so if you are ready for a new home heating system, call us today!

Calculating Heat Load

Heat load is the amount of heat energy that a space needs in order to maintain a temperature in an acceptable range. Put simply, the heat load of your home tells you how much heating you’ll need to be comfortable during the winter months. This calculation includes the following factors:

  • Orientation of your home
  • Level(s) of insulation
  • Type and number of windows and doors
  • Floor plan
  • Number of stories
  • Daytime heat gain
  • Number of rooms
  • Number of occupants
  • Square footage

There may be other factors to include, such as working fireplaces, lighting, etc. But as you can see, calculating heat load isn’t just about the square footage of your home. Why is it important to correctly calculate heat load? So that you install a heating system that is the right size for your home.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is another factor to consider when you need to replace your existing heating system. Odds are, your current system isn’t achieving great energy efficiency. One of the benefits of a new system is increased energy efficiency. To understand how energy efficient a particular heating system is, it’s important to review its AFUE rating. AFUE stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency and it measures a combustion heating system’s efficiency in converting fuel to energy. If you are considering a heat pump, you’ll want to look at the SEER rating and the HSPF rating. The more energy efficient a system is, the more expensive it can be, so it’s important to review these ratings to see just how energy efficient you want your new heating system to be.

Choosing a new heating system for installation takes time, and working with a trained expert can help ensure that you choose a system that is a great fit for you and your home. To schedule the installation of a heating system in Denver, Call APC Plumbing & Heating!

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What are My Choices when it comes to Heating Installation?

Friday, October 17th, 2014

There are a number of great choices when it comes to heating installation, each suited to provide different benefits. If you don’t have much experience, however, the sheer number of factors to consider can be quite daunting.

Here’s a brief rundown of some of the most common options for heating, along with their pros and cons.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are heating systems that move thermal energy from one area to another. In heating mode, an outdoor unit will absorb thermal energy from the surrounding air and send it inside to the indoor unit. The indoor unit then heats the air using that thermal energy, before circulating it throughout the house. Heat pumps are more efficient than most systems, which saves you money on your utility bills. They also have the advantage of cycling between heating and cooling functions as necessary, so you don’t have to buy a separate air conditioner.

The downside to heat pumps is that they aren’t as efficient in extremely cold environments. The lack of thermal energy in the surrounding air forces them to work harder than usual to achieve the same temperature.

Radiant Heating

Radiant heating uses water to transport thermal energy instead of air. Since water is actually a much better heat conductor than air is, this system can get much more heat circulated throughout a house than a forced air system can. Rather than ductwork, pipes are installed either under the floor or in the walls of a room. A boiler heats and pumps water through these pipes, causing heat to radiate from them and into the room. Copper pipe baseboard and radiator heaters are also popular radiant heating methods.

A radiant heating system can save quite a bit on heating bills, due to its efficiency compared to forced air systems. It tends to also heat rooms much more effectively, by relying on transferring thermal energy directly instead of using air as a medium. The downside is that it requires a bit more of an upfront investment, and a more involved installation.

If you are thinking about installing a new heating system, call APC Plumbing & Heating. We conduct heating installations throughout the Denver area.

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What is Radiant Heat?

Friday, October 10th, 2014

Radiant heat is a term used for any system that transfers thermal energy using a delivery system besides forced air. A common example of this is hydronic radiant heating, which uses hot water piped through the house to circulate heat to each room.

The process of installing hydronic radiant heating begins with installing small, pipes between the floor and subfloor of each room you want to be heated. Occasionally, pipes are also installed in concrete floors. Other options include baseboard heaters, metal radiators, and pipes installed in the walls. A boiler serves as the core of the system, heating water and circulating it throughout the house. As the hot water runs through the pipes, the heat radiates from them and out into the room. This indirect transfer of thermal energy is why the heating system is called “radiant heating.”

So why do people choose radiant heating over more traditional forced air systems? There are a number of reasons to upgrade to a radiant heating system. Water serves as a better conductor of thermal energy than air does. The pipes used to transport the water are also far more resistant to leaks than their ductwork counterparts. As a result, more heat is transferred to its destination instead of being lost in transit.

Radiant heating is also arguably more effective at evenly heating a room. Since forced air systems vent warm air directly into a room to heat it, that warm air will rise to the ceiling. As it cools, it will sink to the inhabited areas of the room. This is counter-intuitive at best, preventing anyone in the room from actually benefiting from the warm air. By contrast, radiant heating distributes thermal energy through solid objects like floors and furniture. Since it is not relying upon air as a medium, the heat does not rise nearly as quickly. Radiant heating transmits thermal energy through solid objects and surfaces, keeping it where it can more effectively warm the room

Of course, installing radiant heating does require a bit more time and effort to install than traditional duct systems. Be sure to call a professional to evaluate how easily you can upgrade your heating system.

If you would like more information about radiant heating and its advantages, call APC Plumbing & Heating. Our HVAC technicians are heating installation experts. We cover the entire Denver area.

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What Are the Signs of an Incorrectly-Sized Furnace?

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Having a correctly-sized heating system is critical to your indoor comfort during the cold months. While it may seem that “bigger is better” when it comes to home heating, it isn’t. The best way to avoid installing an improperly-sized heating system is to work with a trained professional. Since 1984, APC Plumbing & Heating has been installing heating systems in Denver, and our NATE-certified technicians can help you calculate the correct heating load for your home, and then install a heating system that fits.

Calculating Heating Load

There are several factors that go into a heat load calculation:

  • Orientation of your home
  • Daytime heat gain
  • Level of insulation
  • How many windows and doors you have, and what type they are
  • Number of occupants of the home
  • Square footage
  • Floor plan
  • Temperature difference between indoors and outdoors (indoors is typically between 68-72 degrees)

How the air moves in your home, the number of people and how the sun affects the temperature of your home during the daytime are all important factors that have to be part of the calculation in order to truly ascertain how much heat you need. Simply calculating by square footage alone isn’t enough.

Problems with Sizing

So what happens if your heating system is too big or too small? Let’s take a look:

Too Small

When your heating system is too small, it can’t achieve the set temperature; this can be particularly troublesome at night, when the temperature drops. Unfortunately, your heating system will keep trying to reach the set temperature, so it keeps running – constantly. Constant operation isn’t good for the system because it can lead to accelerated wear and tear, overheating of components and possible breakdown of the system. In addition, your energy bills will go up and you’ll most likely be cold. It can be tempting to install a smaller furnace because it may cost less initially, but it can wind up costing you in the end.

Too Big

A system that is too big will heat your home so fast that it won’t be able to complete the full heating cycle. This can have several effects:

  • You’ll be uncomfortable – your home will heat up so quickly it may get too hot too soon, and then it will also cool down quickly, possibly making you cold again.
  • Your system will short-cycle – short-cycling occurs when your heating system is in a continuous cycle of turning on and off. This can cause with excessive wear-and-tear and prematurely age the components.
  • Your energy bills may go up – the constant on/off of short cycling uses more energy, especially at start-up, and the constant running requires more energy use.

When you work with a heating expert, he/she will perform a heat load calculation using the factors listed above to determine exactly how much heating your home really needs. This allows the technician to professionally install a heating system that is the right size for your home. Call APC Plumbing & Heating and schedule an appointment with one of our installation experts.

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Heating Upgrades Before the Heating Season Starts

Friday, September 19th, 2014

It’s always difficult to say “goodbye” to the summer and look past the fall toward the beginning of cold weather. But if you have an effective heating system ready to warm your home through the winter, those goodbyes won’t be so bad. To make your life even easier for the upcoming cold weather, you can have upgrades for your heating system with the assistance of the professionals at APC Plumbing & Heating.

Below are some of our suggestions for heating upgrades, large and small, that will make your winter more enjoyable and energy-efficient. Be sure to include a pre-season maintenance visit for your heater as part of your winter preparations: the best “upgrade” for any heater is to make sure it remains in the best condition possible.

Add Zone Controls

When the central heating in a home turns on, it distributes warmth to all the rooms that are connected to the ventilation system. This means energy is wasted on spaces that don’t require it, such as empty guest rooms. However, if you add a zone control system to your home, you can shut off heat to different rooms and only warm up the places that need it. To install zone control, professionals place dampers inside the ductwork and hook them up to individual thermostat, which then network into a central control. You’ll have a more even spread of heat, save money on heating bills, and give people in your home the ability to control the temperature to their liking wherever they are.

Upgrade the Thermostat

Do you still have an old manual thermostat with sliders and dials? Or a standard digital thermostat without programmable features? Then it’s time to change to a higher technology model that will help with precision temperatures and energy-saving features. A wide selection of thermostats exist for professional installation, including “smart” thermostat that develop their own energy-conserving programs and which can operate wirelessly, giving you control from anywhere you have Wi-Fi access.

Go Ductless

If you are considering a full replacement for your heating system, now might be the ideal time to opt for a ductless mini split heat pump. Like any heat pump, it works as both a heater and air conditioner, making it a great double comfort solution. The lack of ducts (ductless systems use blower units mounted in the different rooms) means higher quality indoor air, zone control, less loss of heat, and greater space in your home.

There are many ways that our technicians at APC Plumbing & Heating can assist you with updating your heating system in Denver. Contact us today to find out more, and also to arrange for you annual pre-season maintenance visit.

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