How Air Sealing Benefits You

April 20th, 2015

When you run your air conditioning or heating system, you most likely close all of your windows and doors in order to save some energy. While you may believe that closing up all of the entryways to the house solves this problem, there may be more issues of which you are unaware: air leaks. Air leaks, which are small holes and cracks in your home, allow air to leak out or move into the house. These leaks may be around windows and doors, or there may be minor cracks in the walls or ceilings that need caulking. Even the smallest cracks can really add up, contributing to quite a bit of energy loss for which your HVAC system has to compensate. But instead of forcing your HVAC system in Eugene, OR, to work harder, you can schedule an air sealing appointment with a Comfort Flow Heating technician. Continue Reading

Is It Time for Heater Replacement?

April 13th, 2015

Our daytime temperatures are finally starting to climb, but our nights are still cool enough to warrant the continued use of our heating systems. Spring is a great time to assess your home’s needs, and if you found that you were struggling with your heating system this winter, it may be time to consider a replacement system. Most people think of replacement as something that occurs when your heater finally kicks the bucket, but it’s always a much better scenario to replace your system before you are completely without heat. Here are some ways to help tell if it’s time to replace your aging heater in Eugene, OR: Continue Reading

Does My Heat Pump Need Spring Maintenance?

April 6th, 2015

Heat pumps are durable devices, lasting, on average, about 20 years. One thing homeowners tend to forget about their heat pumps is that these devices work twice as much as a traditional heating or cooling system because heat pumps can both heat and cool your home. As such, it’s important to schedule your heat pump system maintenance bi-annually instead of just annually. Has it been more than 6 months since your last heat pump maintenance appointment? Then it’s time to call the specialists at Comfort Flow Heating and schedule an appointment.

Why Is Maintenance Important?

When a technician performs maintenance on your heat pump, it is a full tune-up of the system. The main aspects of any maintenance appointment are:

  • Thorough inspection of the system
  • Cleaning
  • Adjusting
  • Lubrication of all moving parts
  • System checks
  • Performance testing

All of these tasks contribute to the overall benefits of maintenance, which include the following:

  • Better energy efficiency – your heat pump was made to operate at a certain level of energy efficiency, but will have a very hard time doing so carrying several seasons’ worth of dirt, dust and wear and tear. The process of maintenance allows the system to operate at peak efficiency so that you can achieve better overall efficiency from the system.
  • Prevents repairs – the thorough inspection the system undergoes during a maintenance appointment helps the technician detect existing or developing problems and get ahead of them before they can blossom.
  • Extends life of the system – maintenance keeps your heat pump in good working order year after year, which helps reduce the potential for premature aging.
  • Increases comfort levels – it can be difficult for a heat pump weighed down by wear and tear to achieve your set temperature; maintenance allows your heat pump to functional optimally so that it can easily achieve your desired temperature.

Spring offers a window of opportunity to get your heat pump system in great shape for the coming summer. The professionals at Comfort Flow Heating are here to help with all of your heat pump needs, so if it’s time for maintenance, call us today and schedule an appointment.

What Is Short-Cycling, and Why Should I Worry About It?

April 3rd, 2015

Have you ever noticed your furnace behaving strangely? Shutting itself on and off every couple of minutes, for example? If you have, you’ve got a pretty serious problem. That behavior is one of the most damaging things that can happen to heating systems, known as “short-cycling.” So what is short-cycling, really? What does it do, and why should you care? Read on to find out.

Causes of Short-Cycling

There is one major cause of short cycling when it comes to furnaces: clogged air filters. The air filter is a fiber mesh that is inserted into the air return duct of the furnace. It is designed to protect the furnace against any particles that may blow in from the ducts, such as dust and dirt. The air filter captures these particles, while allowing the air to flow through it and into the furnace. While this works fairly well under normal circumstances, the air filter has no way to actually get rid of the particles that it captures. That means that sooner or later it will need to be cleaned or replaced. If this is not done, the air filter will become so clogged with particles that it will restrict the air flow into the furnace.

When the air flow into the furnace is obstructed, its internal temperature will begin to rise. Eventually, it will rise high enough to activate the limit switch, which is designed to shut down the furnace if it is in danger of overheating. This is only a temporary fix, however, as the air filter is still restricting the air flow into the furnace. Once the furnace starts back up, it will overheat again and be shut down again. This process will continue as long as the air filter remains clogged.

The Results of Short-Cycling

If not fixed immediately, short-cycling will start to inflict severe damage on the furnace. The startup sequence of the heating cycle is the most stressful, and also happens to be the part that the furnace becomes trapped repeating. This constant repetition of the most stressful part of the heating process puts the system under much more strain than it was designed to handle. A furnace often has its lifecycle severely shortened if left to short-cycle for a long period of time, and will have an increased chance of breaking down.

If you suspect that your furnace may be short-cycling, call Comfort Flow Heating for our comprehensive heating services in the Florence, OR area.

How Duct Sealing Can Save You Money

March 25th, 2015

Ductwork is one of the most important, and most neglected, parts of you HVAC system. You home’s ducts are responsible for making centralized forced air heating and cooling possible in the first place. Despite their importance, however, ducts are often completely ignored when it comes to required maintenance. This is unfortunate, as keeping your ducts in good condition can actually save you quite a bit of money on your heating and electric bills. Want to know how? Read on to find out.

Common Duct Issues

Ducts have a couple of different issues with which they’re commonly afflicted. Dust, debris, moisture, and rust are all issues that affect the quality of your ducts. The biggest issue by far, however, is duct leaks. Ducts are actually quite vulnerable to leaks, despite their relatively passive role in heating and air conditioning. Improper installation often leaves gaps between the different sections of ductwork. Moisture or animal activity can create small holes through which air can escape. Even expanding and contracting from regular use can result in sections of the ductwork working themselves loose.

So, what’s the big deal? A few small leaks here and there hardly constitute an emergency, right? Actually, the US Department of Energy has estimated that the average forced air system loses as much as 30% of its output to duct leaks. That’s almost a third of your heating and air conditioning output that you’re still paying for, but which is lost before it ever reaches its destination. That loss forces your systems to stay on longer to accomplish the same temperatures, which contributes to a significant rise in your heating and electric bills.

How Duct Sealing can Help

Duct sealing is the process of finding and closing any leaks that may be present in your ductwork. By having an experienced professional seal your ducts for you, you’re drastically improving the efficiency of your heater and air conditioner. This is how you can substantially lower your heating and electric bills. If you haven’t had your ducts sealed in the past year or two, call Comfort Flow Heating. We provide duct sealing services throughout Salem, OR.

Common Causes of Water Heater Repair

March 20th, 2015

Water heaters are pretty robust systems, and not prone to frequent breakdowns. However, that does not mean that they are immune from all problems and repair needs. Water heaters are vulnerable to a number of different problems, each capable of inflicting various levels of damage. Let’s take a look at some of the common causes of water heater repair, and how you can prevent them.

Rust

Any system that regularly deals with water is going to risk oxidization. That is especially true for water heaters, which are often exposed to water 24/7. Rust can cause various parts of the water heater to fail, and can even cause the tank to rupture. Tankless water heaters do not store water, so their risk of rust is slightly lessened. For tank water heaters, however, slightly stronger countermeasures are required.

Tank water heaters are equipped with devices called “sacrificial anode rods.” These are long, metal rods that are inserted into the tank, and protect the lining of the tank by rusting away themselves. Once the anode rods are completely degraded, however, the tank lining will once again be vulnerable to rust. The best way to stop this from happening is by checking your anode rod at least once a year, and replacing it if necessary. If you don’t know how to check your anode rod, call a professional to help you.

Uneven Heat

If you have a lot of people using hot water at once in your house, it is very possible to simply exhaust the supply of hot water on hand. When that happens, you just have to wait for more. However, there is a difference between that and a water heater that is seemingly unable to provide consistently hot water regardless of the situation. If that is happening, you could have a number of different problems. An issue with the heater’s circulator pump could be preventing the hot water from reaching you. However, it is also possible that the heater itself is having trouble heating the water. That’s a more serious issue, and one that you’ll need a professional technician to diagnose. The best way to prevent these kinds of problems is simply to have your water heater inspected at least once a year by a professional.

If you water heater is giving you problems, call Comfort Flow Heating. We provide water heater repair service throughout Eugene, OR.

How Often Should I Schedule Duct Cleaning?

March 11th, 2015

Ducts are among the most unobtrusive parts of any HVAC system. They are simple, often quiet, and tend not to suffer the dramatic breakdowns common to the more main parts of heating and air conditioning systems. That being said, your ducts still serve a vital purpose. If not taken care of properly they can not only negatively affect your HVAC systems, but your own health as well. Let’s have a look at why duct cleaning is so important, and how often you should have it done.

Why Bother With Duct Cleaning?

Floating through the air you breathe, right this second, are millions upon millions of microscopic particles. Some of these particles are harmless. Some are lung irritants, like dust and pollen. If you’re an allergy sufferer, these can make your life pretty hellish in high amounts. Some are even infectious agents like viruses, bacteria, and mold spores. These are the worst, able to sicken those they infect and lowering their quality of life.

With all of these things present in every breath you take, you may wonder why you’re not sneezing and coughing constantly. The reason you’re not constantly sick or having allergy attacks is that the concentration of these particles is often pretty low. In most homes, while these contaminants are present, they often don’t have the numbers to really impact your immune system in a noticeable way. There is one big exception to this, however, and it has to do with your ducts.

Airborne contaminants have a tendency to collect in the ducts in your home, mainly because it’s dark and out of the way of most human activity. This makes it easy for these pollutants to settle down and thrive, away from any normal cleaning efforts you may attempt. Then, when you turn on your heater or air conditioner, all of those contaminants get blown around your house at once. This gives you a much higher dose of these contaminants than normal, increasing the chances of a severe reaction.

The Benefits of Duct Cleaning

Duct cleaning is used to remove this massive buildup of contaminants from your ducts, increasing your air quality and possibly improving your health. Though the buildup of contaminants in your ducts can be quite significant, it tends to happen slowly. For that reason, you shouldn’t need to have your ducts cleaned more than once every one or two years. The biggest danger is not having them cleaned at all. If you haven’t had your ducts cleaned in the past couple of years, call Comfort Flow Heating to schedule duct cleaning service with us in Salem, OR.

What is the Sacrificial Anode Rod?

March 4th, 2015

The parts of your water heater work together to heat up cool water from the pipes and return it to your plumbing system so that you have continued access to warm water for showering, cleaning, laundry, and more. But one part of your water heater does not really participate in this process at all. The sacrificial anode rod does not help to heat up water, nor does it serve any electro-mechanical purpose. But the anode rod still serves as the hero of the storage tank water heater, essentially sacrificing itself for the good of the tank.

Be sure to service your water heater in Creswell regularly with the help of the friendly technicians at Comfort Flow Heating. We can replace the sacrificial anode rod if necessary and make other vital adjustments in order to keep your system in the best shape possible.

The Anode Rod and Rust Prevention

When you turn on the hot water in your home and notice a reddish-brown color or flakes of rust, you may assume the worst. Rust indicates that your unit has begun to corrode. And once corrosion begins, there’s not much of a chance of saving the tank. A leaking tank could really mess up your home and potentially result in costly renovations, so replacement is often necessary at the first sign of corrosion.

Luckily, rusty water may not always be indicative of a rusted tank. It may just be that the anode rod has rusted through, a part that is simple for a trained technician to replace. In fact, the anode rod is meant to rust—the sole purpose for its presence in the tank.

The anode rod is typically made from aluminum or magnesium. Because these metals are more corrosive than iron, any corrosion should divert to the anode rod before it begins to affect your tank. However, it is possible that the anode rod can corrode so far that rust begins to develop on the tank itself. Prevent this from occurring by scheduling regular water heater maintenance.

When you notice rust from your water heater, let the experts at Comfort Flow Heating check it out. We can replace your water heater or perform any other necessary services for your water heater in Creswell. Give us a call today.

How Duct Cleaning Improves Your Indoor Air Quality

February 25th, 2015

When was the last time that you spared a thought for the ducts in your home? Probably not for a while, and no one can blame you for that. After all, what is there to really consider about ducts? They are an avenue for air to travel through, and that’s about it. Now, when was the last time you worried about the quality of the air in your home? Probably quite a bit more recently. People worry about dust and dander a lot more often, because they have a lot more apparent (and harmful) effects on the occupants of the home. What a lot of people don’t know, however, is that there is a strong link between the home’s ducts and the pollutants that lower the home’s air quality. Let’s take a look at how duct cleaning can vastly improve your air quality.

The Ideal Environment

As you already know, the air in the average home is full of all sorts of airborne contaminants. These range from dust and dander to viruses and bacteria. While a lot of these contaminants have limited harmful effects, they can have a major impact on the health of allergy sufferers and those with weakened immune systems. While most people counteract these contaminants by dusting and keeping the house clean, there is one place that is often neglected: the ducts.

Ducts are not only spared cleaning efforts and other human activity, but they are also dark. This makes them the ideal environment for biological pollutants to spread, many of which can be killed by too much exposure to UV light. When a heating or air conditioning system is turned on, all these new pollutants are then blown out of the ducts and into the home, where they can begin infecting people.

Duct Cleaning as a Solution

Duct cleaning counteracts this vicious cycle by periodically removing the buildup of contaminants in your ducts. This both prevents the ducts from distributing contaminants around your house, and removes a lot of the extant ones from your air. Essentially, your ducts become a trap, collecting the majority of the airborne pollutants for removal by your HVAC technician.

If you haven’t had your ducts cleaned in a while, call Comfort Flow heating. We provide duct cleaning services throughout the Florence area.

How Duct Repair Can Save You Money on Your Heating Bill

February 16th, 2015

There are several types of heating systems available to homeowners today, including ductless heat pumps and radiant heating systems. Radiant heating systems use a boiler to heat water and move it to the various rooms of the house. A ductless heat pump operates much like an air conditioning system, with a refrigerant line, compressor, coils, and blower fans that help to move heat from one area to another, except that it can also move in reverse, carrying heat from the outdoor air to the inside of the house. The indoor unit mounts onto the wall, eliminating the need for ducts.

Despite all of these options, the most common types of heating systems use the ducts to deliver warm air into the home. In some cases, homeowners have ducted heat pumps for efficient heating and air conditioning. But far more often, homes are equipped with furnaces, which run either via electricity, heating oil, or a natural gas line. This is the most common heating system in the United States, mostly because it tends to be reliable, safe, and long-lasting—as long as you schedule regular maintenance.

If your well-maintained heating system runs into trouble, it may be because of the duct system. Unfortunately, ducts are prone to leaks. And when the ducts have leaks, your home won’t get enough warm air, which means it will take longer to raise the temperature. Your heater could struggle as a result, and some parts may begin to break down as they become overworked.

When a heating system begins to fail, many technicians tend to repair the broken parts and overlook the duct system as a possible source of the issue. But the ducts should be routinely inspected in order to make sure you don’t run into any heating issues because of them. Leaks in the ducts also force you to spend a lot more money on your heating bills as your heating system takes a lot longer to condition your home.

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the typical home heating and cooling system wastes about thirty percent of the energy it uses in the duct system. If you at all suspect that you need duct repair service for your home, or if it’s just been a while since anyone has checked out your system, call the friendly professionals at Comfort Flow Heating in Salem today.