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Archive for December, 2013

New Year’s Traditions Explained

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

2014 is almost upon us, and with the coming of the New Year, we thought we’d take a brief look at some of the more popular traditions associated with this holiday. It’s been around for at least 4,000 years: as long as we’ve figured out how long it takes for the seasons to come and go. Here’s a quick discussion about some of our more modern traditions and where they started:

  • Auld Lang Syne. The famous song began in Scotland, where it was published by Robert Burns in 1796.  He claims he initially heard it sung by an elderly resident of his hometown, which suggests it has traditional folk origins even before that. It became even more popular when big band leader, Guy Lombardo, started playing it every New Year’s Eve, starting in 1929 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.
  • The Dropping of the Ball in Times Square. The tradition of dropping the ball in Times Square started in 1907. It was made out of iron and wood with light bulbs located on the surface, and the ball originally “dropped” over the offices of the New York Times at One Times Square. Dick Clark famously broadcast the event every year from 1972, until his death in 2012.
  • The Rose Parade. The Tournament of Roses Parade has been held in Pasadena every year since 1890; taking advantage of California’s warm weather to present a parade of floats, bands and horses. A football game was eventually added to the festivities in 1902, when Michigan dominated Stanford’s team by a score of 49-0
  • Baby New Year. The use of a baby to signify the New Year dates back to Ancient Greece, where it symbolized the rebirth of Dionysus (the God of wine and parties). Early Christians initially resisted the pagan elements of the story, but soon came to adopt it since it matched the traditional Christmas symbol of baby Jesus in the manger. Today, people of all faiths and traditions refer to the New Year as a baby, representing new beginnings.

Whatever traditions you choose to celebrate, we here at Comfort Flow Heating wish you the very safest and happiest of New Years. May 2014 bring you nothing but the best!

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Longer Days Ahead: Why Winter Solstice Is a Reason to Celebrate

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Holiday greetings from all of us at Comfort Flow Heating!

December is a time of celebrations across the globe, despite the cold weather that affects much of the countries in the Northern Hemisphere. In fact, the cold weather is one of the reasons that it is so important for people to embrace celebrations of light, color, food, and warm drinks—what better way to cheer up during a time of short days and low temperatures?

There is another reason to feel joy at the end of December, regardless of your religion or culture: an astronomical event called winter solstice.

Four astronomical markers divide the seasons on planet Earth: two solstices and two equinoxes. Equinox (a combination of the Latin words for “equal” and for “night”) is the point in Earth’s orbit when its axis is parallel to the Sun. Solstice (from the Latin words for “sun” and “to stand still”) is the point in orbit where the Earth’s axial tilt points toward the Sun. During the equinoxes, which occur at the start of spring (vernal equinox) and fall (autumnal equinox), the periods of day and night are the same length. During the solstices, which occur at the start of summer (June solstice) and winter (winter solstice), either day or night is at its longest period. June solstice is the longest day of the year; winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year.

Occurring on the 20th or the 21st of the month (this year it falls on the 21st), winter solstice marks the official beginning of winter, but also the point at which the days start to grow longer once more. The sun, which has dropped lower in the sky since the June solstice (June 20-21) and reaches its lowest point above the horizon on noon on winter solstice, once again begins to rise.

From the earliest human prehistory, people have recognized the winter solstice as an important event in their lives. When winter survival was difficult for early human societies, the sight of the sun beginning to rise in the sky once more was a symbol of hope and a reason to celebrate.

(All of the above applies to the Northern Hemisphere of Earth. The equinoxes and solstices flip in the Southern Hemisphere. For example, in Australia, Christmas is a summer holiday.)

However you commemorate and observe this time of year, we hope you and your family have a joyful and safe season!

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Reasons You Should Consider Radiant Heating in Salem, OR

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

The first time people experience radiant floor heating when they are a guest in someone’s house, it usually astonishes them. The level of warmth, the sensation of heat pouring onto them straight from the sun on a summer day, is so different from the feeling of hot air blown about a room from a furnace, or even the heating coming from a radiator attached to a boiler. Once people have an encounter with radiant heating, they usually want to know if they can have their own system installed.

There are a number of good reasons to consider radiant heating in Salem, OR, beyond their wonderful comfort. If you want to know more, contact our radiant heating specialists at Comfort Flow Heating. They can help you decide if radiant heating will work for your home, as well as determine the type and size to install.

Advantages of radiant heating

  • Cleaner air: Low indoor air quality is one of the leading health risks in the U.S. (according to the U.S. Department of Health), and one of the main contributors is dust blown from the ductwork connected to heat pumps and furnaces. Radiant heating doesn’t need ducts: instead, it uses the clean power of heat waves radiating from warmed objects. If there are people living in your home with allergies to dust, pollen, or hair, radiant floor heating will especially benefit them.
  • Energy efficiency: Forced-air heating systems often blow heat into the upper areas of rooms, where it gathers without warming the space effectively. You have to keep a furnace or heat pump on longer to provide sufficient heat to make a difference. But radiant heating gives you heat directly, from the floor under your feet, and it rises evenly through the room. You’ll need to run your heater far less to get the same level of comfort. Radiant floor heating also experiences no heat loss along ducts, furthering its energy efficiency.
  • Less noise pollution, less visual pollution: Radiant heaters operate so quietly that you’ll hardly notice yours working—except for the cozy warm floorboards. And you shouldn’t see it much either, since if properly installed, a radiant heating system is almost invisible, without needs for vents or radiators.

You might want to dash out right now and order installation of a radiant heating system, but be cautious: the installation process is extensive, and it may not even be the best option for heating your home. For these reasons, make sure you contact experts in radiant heating to help you find out if this is the best path to take, and to have quality installers on the job if you decide to move forward.

For over 50 years, Comfort Flow Heating has helped our clients live better with quality heating in Salem, OR. Let us assist you with radiant floor heating today.

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Here’s Why You Need to Replace Your Heater

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Oregon doesn’t experience the bitter winters of some of the states to our east, but we still need to have heaters in good shape year round to combat our many rainy days. Your heating system will see a lot of extra work each winter season… and eventually, no matter how sturdy and reliable it is, it will need to be replaced.

Having a new heater installed is a large task, one you shouldn’t undertake lightly. But you need to know when it’s necessary. We will give you some reasons why that old heater needs to go and a new one brought in. To make this task much easier, contact Comfort Flow Heating, where we provide professional heating service in Salem, OR—and have done so for more than half a century

Why it’s time to replace your heater

  • Inefficiency: Age will eventually wear down any mechanical system, no matter how well it is maintained. If your heater has exceeded its manufacturer’s expected lifespan, then pay attention to your heating bills to see if they have started to rise. If they do, then you know that the wear on the heater has impaired its ability to work efficiently. You should replace it, since the new heating system will offer you savings on your energy bills for many years to come.
  • Noise pollution: A heater growing decrepit will start to turn noisy. Increased noise is usually a sign that it’s time for a replacement, but the noise on its own will soon turn into an extreme annoyance.
  • Take advantage of new technology: A new installation will not only compensate for the older heater’s inefficiency, it will probably vastly improve on it with technological advances. The heaters of today are already far ahead of what they were only twenty years ago in terms of fuel efficiency. In addition, you can update to a new fuel source, put in zone heating, update your thermostat, or switch to a new form of heating altogether. You can also help the environment with a heater that creates fewer emissions.

Consult with professionals

Before you choose to send your old heater to the scrap heap, bring in heating installation and repair specialists to examine it. They can determine if it is indeed a good idea to have a new heater installed. They will also provide suggestions for the best system to install as a replacement.

When you need heating service in Salem, OR, give Comfort Flow Heating a call. We install top brand furnaces, air source heat pumps, geothermal heat pumps, and radiant heating systems. Sign up for maintenance with us as well to make sure your new heater lasts for many years.

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Can a Damaged Heater Still Work?

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Like cars and computers, a damaged heating system can sometimes still soldier on while performing its basic function. And, like cars and computers, you don’t want your heater to keep operating if it’s damaged, even if it can. For many reasons, you need to have repair work done right away before you continue using your heater.

If you contact an HVAC repair specialist, such as Comfort Flow Heating, you can have the damages to your heater fixed and the system working optimally once more in only a short time. The expense for having repairs done is minimal compared to what can go wrong if your heater keeps running when it’s impaired. Call for heating repair service in Springfield, OR as soon as the need appears.

But what’s wrong with still running the heater?

Many things. Let’s run down the major ones:

  • A damaged heater presents a safety hazard. This is particularly important for a gas-powered furnace, where damages like a cracked heat exchanger can lead to the release of carbon monoxide exhaust into your home, which is both toxic and combustible. Malfunctioning electrical heaters can also trigger fires due to wiring problems.
  • A damaged heater wastes energy. The heating system must do more work to reach the level of heating it is supposed to, and this will cause your energy bills to rise.
  • A damaged heater is more likely to break down. A single repair need on a heater that’s left without attention will start to cause other problems, and eventually your heater will not run at all.
  • A damaged heater won’t keep you comfortable. Your comfort will suffer if your heater has to struggle with damage. You can expect to find cold rooms in your home when the heating system malfunctions.
  • A damaged heater will have a shorter lifespan. Just as the heater risks breaking down because of damages left unattended, it also risks failing permanently. You want your heater to last as long as possible, maybe even exceed its manufacturer’s estimated lifespan… and that won’t happen if it operates while damaged.

Prompt repairs are the answer

Whatever damage your heater has sustained—whether breaks in the ducts, broken fan belts, damaged geothermal coils—you need it taken care of as soon as possible. Look to a company with 24-hour emergency service and years of experience to get your system back to prime working condition.

Comfort Flow Heating can fill your needs for heating repair service in Springfield, OR. We’ve been in business for over 50 years, and we will answer your calls around the clock. Don’t “drive” a damaged heater: call Comfort Flow Heating today!

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