Comfort Flow Heating Blog:
Archive for January, 2015

Common Geothermal Repairs

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Geothermal systems are incredibly durable; after all, they have an average lifespan of 25-50 years. As these systems grow in popularity, their uniqueness can make homeowners wonder: what kind of repairs are common with this system? The concern is natural, as the buried ground loop can create images of challenging repair issues. Rest assured that geothermal systems tend to have fewer instances of repairs compared to other more traditional heating systems, and when you do have a need for geothermal repair, you can call the experts at Comfort Flow Heating to meet all your geothermal system repair needs.

Heat Pump Issues

Geothermal systems use heat pumps to facilitate the transfer of heat. During the winter, the heat is moved to your indoors and during the summer the heat is moved to ground or water where the loop resides. Common heat pump issues are anti-freeze leaks, problems with the compressor or condenser and age.


Many geothermal systems use water to help facilitate the transfer of heat. Water contains minerals, and these minerals can create build-up on the inside of the ground loop called scale. Scale is made of mineral deposits that tend to be high in calcium. If there’s enough scale build-up, the flow of the anti-freeze in the ground loop can be restricted. A simple acid flush performed by a professional can clear scale away and restore the flow inside the ground loop.

Issue with the Manifold

The pipes of a ground loop system need a single connection point that carries the fluid into the heat pump that resides in your home; this component is called the manifold. The manifold typically has several valves that correlate to the pipes connecting to it, and sometimes problems can develop with a valve, including scale build-up.

Geothermal systems should always be repaired by those who have experience with the systems because they are not like traditional heating systems, even with the use of heat pumps. The specialists at Comfort Flow Heating have the expertise and training you need for your geothermal system in Eugene, OR, so call us today.

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How Does Duct Cleaning Help Heating?

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Duct cleaning is one of the more important kinds of maintenance you can conduct on your heating system. Sadly, it is also one of the most ignored among homeowners. This is often because homeowners are simply unaware of how important duct cleaning is, not only for the health of your heating system but for your own health as well. Let’s examine the ways that duct cleaning helps your heating system, and provides a few benefits that you don’t want to miss.

The Necessity of Duct Cleaning

Ducts are naturally unobtrusive, designed to do their jobs quietly and stay out of sight as much as possible. This is a good thing in many ways. You don’t want giant sheet metal eyesores lining your walls, after all. However, this also means that they often get completely ignored regarding maintenance. Though it may seem like your ducts don’t need any sort of special attention to keep operating, they actually need duct cleaning in order to have a long and productive life.

As ducts are left undisturbed by the activities of the home’s occupants, they have a tendency to accumulate dust and other microscopic airborne pollutants over time. When the heat is turned on, all of that debris is circulated throughout the house and lowers your air quality. Duct cleaning removes debris and pollutants before they can circulate, improving your health and the health of the ductwork.

Duct cleaning isn’t limited to the ducts, either. Often, an HVAC technician will extend their cleaning efforts to the heater itself, ensuring that no dust is present in the system and that the air filter is clean and functioning. This helps the heater to operate more efficiently, as too much dust in the system can cause problems.

Finally, duct cleaning can save you money. The US Department of Energy has estimated that forced air systems lose as much as 30% of their heat on average to leaks in the ductwork. While duct cleaning does not normally involve sealing leaks, it can identify them so that they can be fixed.

Schedule an appointment with us if you haven’t had your ducts cleaned in a while by calling Comfort Flow Heating. We provide duct cleaning services throughout Cottage Grove.

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Steps to Take for Heating Installation

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Heating installation involves a lot more than selecting a heating unit and having it installed – that is, if you want the installation done correctly. Rushing the process not only robs you of the opportunity to install a potentially better system for your home, you may wind up with a unit that is the wrong size. So what steps should you take? Here are some suggestions from our Comfort Flow Heating installation experts for Salem residents:

Review Your Choices

Not too long ago, there were basically two choices for heating: a furnace or a boiler. These days homeowners have an array of choices. The heat options we carry at Comfort Flow Heating are:

  • Furnaces (gas or electric)
  • Heat pumps
  • Ductless systems
  • Radiant systems (electric)
  • Geothermal systems

Review Energy Efficiency

Every heating system comes with an energy efficiency rating. For combustion systems, this rating is known as AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency); heat pumps use a SEER rating for air conditioning and HSPF for heating. Electric radiant heating efficiency will be based on the kilowatt hours. Understanding the energy efficiency a particular type of system can offer you is an important part of your long-term comfort with a heating system, so it shouldn’t be overlooked.

Calculate Heat Load

Every home needs a certain amount of heating to be comfortable; too much can make the air hot and dry and too little can leave you feeling chilly. Heat load involves more than just knowing the square footage of your home; other factors to consider are your home’s orientation, floor plan, number of occupants, etc. Allowing a trained specialist to calculate your heat load helps ensure that you’ll purchase and install a heating system that is correctly-sized for your home.

New heating installation in Salem is a great opportunity to increase your energy efficiency and comfort; don’t let it slip by because you are rushing to install a new system. If you are in need of a new heating system, call the experts at Comfort Flow Heating in Salem today!

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Ways a Malfunctioning Thermostat Affects Your Heating

Monday, January 5th, 2015

The thermostat of your heating system is probably the only piece of equipment you come into contact with. While it may seem small, this portion of your heating system is vital to heating operation as it communicates with the heating unit when the temperature has dropped too low. Your heating system relies on this small piece to know when to start up and shut off, so a malfunctioning thermostat is quite a big deal to your unit. There are a few ways a broken thermostat may affect your heater.

No Heating at All or Reduced Heating

Now, a lack of heating or a heating system that won’t turn on at all can be symptomatic of a number of problems. But most often, a technician will start by checking the thermostat. Initially, this is to make sure that you haven’t simply neglected to change the programming, switch over into heating mode, or set the thermostat for the day. However, examining the thermostat can help the technician to learn quite a bit.

If the thermostat displays a temperature that is different from the temperature in the air, it is most likely the culprit of the heating trouble. Of course, this is also true if the thermostat displays nothing at all. While it’s a bit trickier to diagnose this issue with a manual thermostat, the technician can perform further tests to make sure it’s calibrated properly. If the thermostat is, however, displaying the proper temperature but it’s not the temperature you need, then the problem is more likely elsewhere in the system.

Short Cycling

A malfunctioning thermostat may cause your heating system to short cycle. Short cycling is the term professionals use to describe what happens when your heating or air conditioning system shuts off too soon, before the heating cycle is complete, and runs frequently. This may be due to a thermostat that is struggling to sense the heat in the room, detecting frequent temperature changes and sending faulty signals to the main unit. Short cycling can take a huge toll on the parts of your heater, causing components to become overworked. Usually, a broken thermostat will simply be replaced.

Call Comfort Flow Heating to schedule your heating service in Eugene and learn more about thermostats and your heating.

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When New Year’s Day Was Not on January 1st

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Some holidays fall on shifting calendar days for every year, such as Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday in November) and Easter (the first Sunday after the first full moon to occur on or after March 21). Other holidays, such as Valentine’s Day and Halloween, are fixed. No holiday has a more solid calendar date attached to it than New Year’s Day. It has to fall on January 1st because it celebrates the first day of a new year. That only makes sense…

…except that, like most things that at first appear obvious, there is a bit more to the story. The beginning of the year was not always on the first of January. As with an enormous numbers of traditions in the Western World, the establishment of January 1st as the inaugural day of a new year goes back to the ancient Romans.

The modern solar calendar is derived from the Roman model, but the earliest Roman calendars did not have 365 days in a year spread over 12 months. Instead, there were 304 days spread over 10 months. The Romans believed this calendar originated with the mythical founder of the city, Romulus. If Romulus were a real person, we can credit him with a poor understanding of the seasons, as this abbreviated calendar soon got out of sync with Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Numa, one of the Kings of Rome (probably also fictional) receives credit for creating a longer year with two added months, Ianuarius and Februarius, bringing the number of days in the year to 355. The new month of Ianuarius, named after Ianus (Janus in contemporary spelling), the god of beginnings, would eventually be known in English as January. But when this new calendar was instituted, January was not the first month. March, named after the god of war, remained the first month, and March 1st was New Year’s Day.

This extended calendar still did not keep in synch with the seasons. In 45 BCE, Julius Caesar instituted reforms to align the calendar correctly according to calculations of astronomers, with an additional 10 days distributed across the year. January also became set as the first month, and offerings to the god Janus on this day started the tradition we now know as New Year’s. The date still fluctuated during the ensuing centuries, with a number of Western European holy days treated as the beginning of the year instead. It wasn’t until the next calendar reform in 1582, the Gregorian Calendar, that the date of the New Year was fixed at January 1st.

However you choose to celebrate the beginning of the current calendar, everyone here at Comfort Flow Heating hopes you have a wonderful 2015!

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