Comfort Flow Heating Blog:
Archive for November, 2014

When Is Repairing Your Furnace No Longer Worth It?

Friday, November 28th, 2014

Furnaces can last a good long time, as long as you conduct regular maintenance on them. There comes a point, however, when all heating systems need replacing. Let’s take a look at when you should replace your furnace, instead of repairing it.

When it’s Old Enough

The easiest way to tell if your furnace is ready to be replaced is to look at its age. Most furnaces last between 15 and 20 years with regular maintenance and normal usage. As such, if your furnace is over 15 years old you may want to consider replacing it with a new system. Of course, if your furnace appears to be working fine then there is little reason to do so. However, when taken along with our other signs, this one is a good indicator.

When it needs Repairs more Often

As your furnace gets older, the individual parts that make up the system will start to wear out. This isn’t an indication that your furnace needs replacing all by itself. Sometimes parts wear out or break for other reasons. When a furnace gets old enough, however, multiple parts will start failing in rapid succession. This is because the parts wear down at different rates. One or two parts breaking every other year is to be expected. Multiple parts breaking within a few months of each other is a good sign that the system as a whole is worn out.

When Your Heating Bills go up consistently

You should expect your heating bills to fluctuate a little from month to month. You utilize your furnace for different lengths of time each month, after all. However, you should pay close attention to whether your heating bill is consistently rising or staying at a higher rate than normal. This is a sign that your furnace isn’t running as well as it should be, and is having to work harder to compensate. This is often caused by all the wear and tear that builds up on older furnaces.

If you think your furnace needs to be replaced, call Comfort Flow Heating. Our technicians replace furnaces throughout the Eugene area.

Continue Reading

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 Comfort Flow Heating , we hope your Thanksgiving is full of joy and contentment this year. Happy feasting!

Continue Reading

How Does Duct Sealing Help with Heating?

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Without ductwork, the warm air from your heating system doesn’t reach your living spaces. With faulty ductwork, you run the same risk. Why? Air loss can be significant with faulty ductwork, resulting in heat not reaching your living spaces. Ductwork is pretty durable, with an average lifespan of 30+ years, but your ductwork can sustain damage and corrosion just as any other part of your system. One of the best ways to restore your ductwork and improve heating is to schedule professional duct sealing. Duct sealing involves a lot more than placing a piece of duct tape over a crack or hole; this is why it’s important to hire professionals. For more than 50 years, Comfort Flow Heating has helped customers with their heating systems, so call us today!

What Is Duct Sealing?

When a trained professional performs duct sealing, the first step he/she will take is to fully inspect your ductwork. This helps the technician assess the areas that need sealing. Once the areas are identified, sealing can begin. To seal cracks and holes, a fibrous adhesive called mastic is applied to the damaged area. While the mastic is still wet, a piece of foil or fiberglass tape is put on top of the mastic to help secure the bond. When the mastic dries, a hard seal is formed. Sealing disconnections is a little different. First, the two ends that have become separated are joined and covered in mastic. A metal binding is wrapped around the area and secured with sheet metal nails. Once the mastic dries, the area is re-sealed.

How Does Duct Sealing Help With Heating?

  • Better energy efficiency – significantly reducing the air loss from faulty ductwork helps increase your home’s energy efficiency.
  • Better comfort – uneven heating is one of the telltale signs of faulty ductwork. Sealing your ducts allows your system to heat more evenly, reducing the occurrence of hot and cold spots.
  • Less wear on your system – when your system operates with significant heat loss, your heater compensates for this loss by working harder. This can result in more wear on your system.

Faulty ductwork can be a strain your system and on your wallet. If your heating is being affected by faulty ductwork, call Comfort Flow Heating today and schedule your heating service in Eugene with one of our HVAC experts.

Continue Reading

Why Is There Ice on My Heat Pump?

Friday, November 7th, 2014

If you’re a heat pump owner in a cold climate, chances are you’ve noticed ice forming on the outside of your heat pump while it’s on. Your first impression may be that something is wrong with the heat pump. After all, how is it supposed to warm your house if it can’t even keep itself from icing over? The truth is that a little ice on your heat pump is nothing to worry about… until it is. Let’s take a look at what actually causes ice on your heat pump, and whether or not you should worry about it.

Where does it come from?

A heat pump has two separate units for distributing heat, an interior unit and an exterior unit. In heating mode, the exterior unit is responsible for siphoning heat from the air and directing inside to be used. It does this by using an evaporator coil to transfer refrigerant from a liquid to a gaseous state. As the refrigerant inside the coils evaporates, it becomes a heat sink for the surrounding air, leeching heat from it. Cold air cannot hold as much water vapor as warm air, so the remaining moisture collects on the coils of the unit. Freezing temperatures being—well—freezing, the moisture soon becomes ice on the pump.

Is it a Problem?

Yes and no. Yes, if enough ice builds up it can cause issues for the heat pump. Being mostly or completely covered with ice will effectively cut off the exterior part of the heat pump from its supply of thermal energy. This will make it unable to siphon any appreciable amount of heat from the surrounding air. Fortunately, most heat pumps were designed with defrost cycles to melt the ice around the exterior unit. If you see some ice on your heat pump, don’t panic quite yet. Wait and see if it goes away in an hour or two. If the ice level isn’t dropping, or more ice is accumulating on the pump, then it is possible that your heat pump’s defrost cycle is broken.

If you’re experiencing problems with your heat pump, call Comfort Flow Heating and schedule your heating services in Eugene with us.

Continue Reading