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Posts Tagged ‘Heat Pumps’

Make Sure to Remove Snow and Ice from Your Heat Pump Cover

Monday, December 21st, 2015

We don’t get a ton of snow here in Eugene, OR, but we do get plenty of wet winter weather which results in a good amount of ice. Clearing ice certainly isn’t enjoyable, but when it comes to the outdoor cabinet of your heat pump system, it is a necessity. This is due to the way a heat pump works during the winter months. Your heat pump doesn’t have a lot of moving parts, so repairs are often minimal, but reducing the system’s access to the air it needs as well as the available heat will create systemic problems.

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How Does My Heat Pump Heat My Home?

Monday, November 30th, 2015

Eugene is a great place to have and use a heat pump HVAC system, but do you know why? Understanding why requires a little background on how the systems work. The experts from Comfort Flow Heating can give you this quick overview, but remember that we are here to help you with all of your HVAC needs.

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Why Won’t My Ductless Heating Switch to Cooling?

Monday, June 8th, 2015

Heat pumps are pretty ingenious systems. They offer both heating and cooling, and switch easily between modes – unless something is wrong. There can be a few reasons why your ductless system may not be switching to cooling mode, and with the summer solstice just around the corner, it’s important to call the experts at Comfort Flow Heating for help so you don’t compromise your comfort.

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Does My Heat Pump Need Spring Maintenance?

Monday, 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.

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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.

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Signs It’s Time to Replace your Heat Pump

Friday, October 24th, 2014

If you own an older heat pump, you may do anything you can to keep it around for a few more years. Admittedly, heat pumps are somewhat costly, as is any large appliance in your home. However, heat pumps can last a few years longer than other forced-air heating and cooling systems, many lasting over 15 years.

If you’re nearing this number, there are a few things you can do to keep your unit around for a little bit longer. Changing the air filter every month keeps unwanted particles from entering your unit, and it ensures the proper airflow. Improper airflow may cause the indoor coil to freeze and forces your unit to work harder, wearing down parts too soon. You can also schedule regular maintenance to ensure all of the parts of your heat pump are working as they should.

However, at some point you will simply need to replace your older unit. A new heat pump can be a great addition to your home, offering better efficiency and keeping your family more comfortable. Look out for any of the following signs that you may need to replace your heat pump.

  • Reduced Heating or Cooling over the Years: Heat pumps are great for any homeowner looking to save some money with an efficient system that also offers high performance heating and cooling. While you can expect your system to lose some power over the years, reduced heating and cooling combined with old age usually simply indicates replacement is the best way to prevent problems from occurring.
  • Frequent Repair Needs: If you seem to call a technician too often for repair services, you may benefit from a new heat pump. You can replace each component of your unit individually, but in the end, this will be far more costly than replacing the entire unit at once. And if several parts of your system have failed, the other components are likely not far behind.
  • Inefficiency: A final indication of a failing system is high energy bills. Maintenance can help keep your system running somewhat more efficiently, but eventually a new system will be the only way to keep costs low. Luckily, you can find a system with a high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) for efficient cooling as well as a high HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor).

For more information about our heating services in Eugene, call Comfort Flow Heating today!

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How Does a Heat Pump Work in the Winter?

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Heat pumps are remarkable devices that combine the power of an air conditioner and a heater in one convenient unit. Heat pumps actually use the same action to produce cooling as to produce heat; they aren’t two separate units packaged together. This often leads to some confusion in homeowners about how exactly a heat pump operates. We’ll go into a bit more detail about how these systems work and answer a question we often hear: how can a heat pump extract heat from cold weather during the winter?

If you need help installing, repairing, or maintaining a heat pump, contact the Springfield, OR heating system specialists at Comfort Flow Heating. We offer 24-hour emergency heating repair in Springfield, OR.

Heat pump basics

A heat pump operates in the same way as an air conditioning system, except it can run the direction of the heat exchange two ways. Heat exchange is the movement of heat from one location to another. When a heat pump is in cooling mode, heat exchange carries heat from the inside of a home and removes it to the outside. Removing heat gives the feeling of cool, and the blower fans send out this conditioned air through your home. But when the heat pump changes over to heating mode, the direction switches so the heat pump removes heat from outside and brings in indoors.

“But wait,” people often ask at this point, “since the heat pump will only run in heating mode during cold weather, how is it removing heat from the outside? How can it get heat from cold air?”

The answer is that there is always some heat in cold air, unless the temperature is absolute zero (which is a hypothetical temperature anyway) and there is no molecular motion. As long as there is some molecular motion, some heat exists. The heat pump uses the process of evaporation to extract the heat that is available.

However, it does become more and more difficult for heat pumps to remove the heat the lower the thermometer drops. When the temperature goes below freezing, heat pumps will tend to start losing their heating efficiency. In general, heat pumps have lower efficiency ratings for heating than they do for cooling. For this reason, we highly recommend that you consult with heating experts before you schedule a heat pump installation. Professional installers can estimate whether a heat pump will be able to provide sufficient heat for your home, and offer other options if a heat pump is not the ideal choice.

Call us for heating advice

Comfort Flow Heating has more than half a century of experience with heating homes, so you can trust us to provide you with what you need for heating this winter. If you need heating repair in Springfield, OR—or any other heating service—contact us today.

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Springfield Heating FAQ: Common Heating Repairs

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Do you have a heating repair? Call the Springfield heating repair technicians at Comfort Flow. It’s important to call for repairs as you notice any issues with your heater. This helps prevent further damage or other problems. That’s why it’s also important to know some of the more common heating repairs and the warning signs of each.

Many common issues can be resolved by a simple repair or adjustment; however, it’s always best to call your heating contractor whenever you have problems. To help you out, we’ve put together a short list of potential problems and how they are repaired.

We get many calls about gas furnaces with a pilot light that won’t light or stay lit. There could be many causes, but any issues with a pilot light should be taken care of by a heating professional trained to work with gas systems. A delayed start is usually indicated by a loud bang or explosion noise. This is a safety concern and should be addressed before the problem gets worse. Other pilot light issues could be that there’s a draft in the ventilation system or a bad igniter.

If you are having problems with your heat pump, always check to make sure that it is plugged in all the way, and that it is on the right settings. If you aren’t getting enough heat, check the thermostat. Make sure you know what setting to put your thermostat on. Also check the fuse box for a flipped switch if the heat pump isn’t turning on at all.

Contact Comfort Flow today for all heating repairs in Springfield OR.

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Springfield Heating Tip: What to Look for in a New Heat Pump

Monday, January 14th, 2013

If you’re interested in getting a heat pump in Springfield, there are many different things to consider as you start the process. Comfort Flow has been providing complete air conditioning and heating services in Springfield, OR since 1961. We’ve helped countless customers pick out and install new heat pumps for their homes. We thought we would share some of our experience and knowledge to help out our customers. If you have any questions about heat pumps, how they work and the installation process, just contact Comfort Flow today. One of our friendly heating and air conditioning technicians would be happy to talk with you.

How Heat Pumps Work

For those not familiar with heat pumps, here is a quick description of how they work. If you have a traditional central AC system, then you have a heat pump. Your air conditioner is a heat pump that simply moves heat out of your home to the outside. In heating mode, the process is just reversed: heat from the outside is moved into your home.

Heat Pump Benefits

Unlike other heating systems, heat pumps don’t burn fuel to create heat. So while a furnace or a boiler burns gas or oil to heat your home, a heat pump just takes available heat from the outside air and moves it into your home. This allows heat pumps to achieve a very high level of efficiency. The only energy source they need is electricity.

What to Look For In Your New Heat Pump

When you decide to get a new heat pump for your home, here are a few of the things you should think about as you move forward with the process.

  • Efficiency – One of the most attractive benefits of a heat pump is its high efficiency rating. Heat pumps are given a Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) rating to describe how efficient it is in heating mode. A HSPF rating of 7.7 is required for Energy Star compliance. In cooling mode, heat pumps are typically given a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating which measures cooling output divided by energy consumption. A SEER rating of 14 is the minimum for Energy Star approval.
  • Source – Some people may not realize that there are several different types of heat pumps. As we mentioned above, heat pumps use the air as a source of heat for your home. Those heat pumps are referred to as “air-source” heat pumps. However, there are other sources of heat. There are ground-source heat pumps, also known as geothermal heat pumps. There are water-source heat pumps that use a lake or a river as a source of heat. These other types of heat pumps generally have space requirements which may make them unavailable to you depending on the size of your property.

If you have any questions about heat pumps, heat pump installation or repair, call the Springfield heating experts at Comfort Flow. We offer comprehensive heat pump services in Springfield, Oregon for all different types of heat pumps. Call us today to learn more!

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Eugene OR Heating FAQ: Is a Heat Pump More Efficient than a High-Efficiency Furnace?

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Are you thinking of heating your Eugene OR area home with a heat pump, or a high-efficiency furnace? Call the Eugene heating professionals at Comfort Flow if you aren’t sure what type of heating system works best in your home. We can go over the option upgrading your furnace to a high-efficiency model, or a heat pump.

First, we’ll send a technician to your home to test your current system for any performance issues. We can also check for home performance problems, such as improper insulation and sealing. Insulating and sealing will help with moisture control, as well as having proper ventilation. If you have any issues related to airflow due to improper ductwork design, you may want to consider a ductless mini split.

A heat pump can both heat and cool your home, so that is one advantage over a furnace. However, depending on the type of fuel available to your home, a natural gas furnace may be more cost-effective than installing an electric heat pump. Some heating contractor may suggest that you can get better efficiency by simply installing a new air handler for an older furnace, but this will not help if you have a single-stage furnace that is oversized and has below 80% AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency).

If you would like to know more about the pros and cons of each type of heater for you Eugene OR area home, call the heating experts at Comfort Flow! Contact Comfort Flow today!

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