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Posts Tagged ‘Heating’

What You Should Know About Your Furnace Heat Exchanger

Monday, December 20th, 2021

burners-inside-furnaceIf you’re like many homeowners here in the Florence area, there’s a good chance that you use a gas-powered furnace to keep your home and family warm. Furnaces are a great choice—both powerful and cost-efficient when properly installed and well-maintained. Today’s furnaces have an even higher efficiency rating than ever before. In fact, the highest rating now available for a gas furnace is 98%.

But this efficiency doesn’t mean much if you aren’t using your furnace as safely as possible. Furnaces are not inherently dangerous, but there are components within them that could cause one to become dangerous if it misses professional services, such as annual tune-ups.

The heat exchanger is one example of this. A cracked heat exchanger is definitely a potential hazard, and we’re going to dive into the “why” behind this below. While this problem is more common in an older system (10–15 years old), we encourage you to keep this information on hand and stay on top of your maintenance appointments even if you have a brand new system! Read on to learn more.

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Should a Ductless HVAC System Be Your Next Installation?

Monday, April 12th, 2021

ductless-air-handler-mounted-up-on-wallWhat if we told you that when you’re looking to heat or cool your home, there’s an effective and efficient way to do both from one system? There is: the ductless HVAC system. Also referred to as a ductless mini-split or ductless heat pump, this type of central heating and cooling is becoming increasingly popular both in our area and throughout the country.

Ductless systems are effective at keeping homes warm in the winter as well as cool in the summer. If you’re looking to replace your air conditioner this spring and have also been considering a heating system replacement, then this may be just what you’re looking for.

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Have You Scheduled Heating Maintenance Yet?

Monday, November 9th, 2020

white-question-mark-on-blue-backgroundMaybe you are coming back from a First Saturday Park Walk in Eugene or perhaps you’re simply returning from running some errands. Whatever your day looks like, you are going to want to come home to a warm, comfortable house. You have a reliable heater, so you are pretty reassured that your home environment is going to be where you want it to be.

What if there was a way to guarantee your comfort when you came home though? You wouldn’t just be “pretty sure,” you’d be 110% sure that your home will be optimally cozy when you walk in the door. The services we provide for the systems used for heating in Eugene, OR can provide this confidence. For now, though, we’d like to focus on the easiest service to knock out before the weather really gets cold: heating system maintenance.

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4 Ways to Boost Your Heating Efficiency This Season

Monday, November 11th, 2019

jets-of-a-natural-gas-furnaceWinter is coming faster than we think, and we want you to be prepared. Sure, we might not have a climate that’s as bitterly cold as other parts of the world, but our winter seasons still pack quite the punch and require a fully functioning heater to keep us warm.

Having a great heating system is about many things—reliability, effectiveness, and efficiency. You want a heater that’s going to work as efficiently as possible. Our heating seasons are definitely too long to be overpaying for comfort! The good news is, there are several simple steps you can take that will boost the efficiency of your heater, and save you money as a result.

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Is It Time for Heater Replacement?

Monday, 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:

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

Friday, 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.

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What Are Some Of My Options For A New Heating System in Salem, OR?

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Heating systems in Salem and other Oregon towns are absolute necessities during the cold winter months. Now that temperatures are rising, you may want to replace an old, used system for a newer and more efficient one. Most people are accustomed to either forced air furnaces or boiler systems, and they’re both effective means of getting the job done.  But they’re not the only ways of heating your home, and alternative methods cold offer some benefits that you might not have considered otherwise. “What are some of my options for a new heating system in Salem, OR?” you ask.

We’ve outlined three popular choices below:

  • Radiant heating. Radiant heating is used in boiler technology, but a formal system takes it in a much different direction. Metal tubes and reflective tiles are placed beneath your floor, through which heated water is circulated. This warms the room from the floor up, transferring warmth directly through furniture and your feet. It’s very efficient – costing much less in monthly heating bills as forced air furnaces – and it also eliminates problems such as drafts and blown dust.
  • Heat pumps. Heat pumps combine the effects of a heater and an air conditioner, using cycled refrigerant to alternately warm and cool the air. That gives them increased efficiency, as well as combining heating and cooling needs into a single unit. Like radiant heating, heat pumps are very cost-effective, and while they struggle a bit in cold weather, they can be paired with electric heaters that still save you money on costs.
  • Geothermal heating. Geothermal heating often appears in houses on large property lots, since they often require a fair amount of space. The system buries a series of coils 6-8 feet beneath the earth, where the temperatures remain constant. Liquid is pumped through the tubes, which swaps heat back and forth with the earth. As with the other systems we’ve discussed, it’s very inexpensive month to month, and environmentally friendly to boot.

If you wish to discuss some of your options for a new heating system in Salem, OR, call upon the experts at Comfort Flow Heating for help. We’re fast and efficient, and we can spell out your options with you before performing the installation. Give us a call today!

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Reasons to Consider a Reverse Cycle Chiller

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Most businesses take up larger spaces than residential homes, and therefore they require air conditioning and heating on a more advanced level. One of the comfort systems that we recommend for business owners is the reverse cycle chiller, which works effectively in all temperatures and at a lower cost than many rooftop package unit heat pumps.

If you are interested in learning more about reverse cycle chillers, or if you want to schedule installation, call Comfort Flow Heating. We specialize in commercial installation, maintenance, and heating repair in Salem, OR.

What is a reverse cycle chiller? It works similar to a heat pump, except that it doesn’t heat and cool the air. Instead, it works on water. Its heat pump unit is connected to an insulated water tank to which it either removes or adds heat. The conditioned water is then pumped from the tank and to the various places where either heating or cooling is required.

Why should you consider a reverse cycle chiller for your commercial building? Here are a few reasons:

  • No backup burner required: If you use a standard air-source heat pump, it requires a backup burner to supply heat when the system switches from cooling mode to heating mode. This burner is important to make sure that the heat pump doesn’t continue to blow out cold air while the coils defrost. With a reverse cycle chiller, hot water from the tank defrosts the coils and removes the need for the extra burner. This saves energy and assures you’ll receive warm air instead of cold air when you want it.
  • Efficient operation in cold temperatures: An issue that air-source heat pumps can encounter is that when the temperature drops below freezing they will struggle to remove heat from the cold air. Reverse cycle chillers operate through water and do not have trouble with lower temperatures. Even when the temperature outdoors is freezing, a reverse cycle chiller can heat water to above 100°F. (Don’t worry about the water in the chiller freezing; the constant cycling through the system prevents this.)
  • Energy conservation: Reverse cycle chillers are a popular alternative when a geothermal ground-source heat pump is not possible. These chillers use up to 10% fewer kilowatts per hour than a geothermal heat pump, and because of their efficiency at providing heat, they require no supplementary source like heat strips that are often necessary for ground-source heat pumps.

A reverse cycle chiller may not be the optimal choice for your building, so let the professionals at Comfort Flow Heating evaluate your needs to help you select the best option for comfort for your workers, customers, and clients. We can provide heating installation and heating repair in Salem, OR for your company, and then deliver the maintenance to keep the system running for many years.

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How Does a Thermocouple Work?

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Homeowners often express concern about having a natural gas-powered furnace installed in their house. For the most part, these concerns are unwarranted; as long as they receive regular maintenance once a year to see that all of their components are functioning properly, gas furnaces present few health hazards and should work effectively and safely for many years.

One of the ways that the manufacturers of gas furnaces keep their products safe is through a device called the thermocouple. We’ll explain what it is and how it works to keep you safe.

For help with your heating in Salem, OR, contact Comfort Flow Heating today. We will make sure you get the most from your furnace.

The thermocouple

A thermocouple is a device that consists of a pair of strips of metal made from different material. It is installed so that its ends are in the pilot light of the furnace. The thermocouple detects the heat from the pilot light, and should the pilot light go out accidentally, the thermocouple will automatically shut off the gas valve. This prevents unburned gas from flooding into the combustion chamber, where a small spark might cause an explosion.

The thermocouple performs its job through a thermoelectric effect known as the “Seebeck effect,” named after Thomas Johann Seebeck, a German-Estonian physicist who discovered the effect in 1821. Seebeck found that two separate types of metal in proximity to each other will generate electrical voltage in proportion to the heat they sense. The higher the heat around the two metal pieces, the higher the voltage.

The thermocouple in a gas furnace is designed to keep the gas valve open through its electric voltage. If the pilot light goes out, the loss in heat causes the voltage between the two pieces of metal to drop, and this shuts the valve and reduces the combustion risk.

It’s a remarkable feat for so simple and small a device. However, a thermocouple can break, rust, or fall out of place, and this can lead to a potential hazard if the pilot light fails. This is one of the reasons you need to schedule regular preventive maintenance for your gas furnace: technicians will catch failing thermocouples and replace them with the correct unit.

(Some current gas furnaces use a mercury sensor instead of a thermocouple. Your technician will know how to handle potential problems with mercury sensors as well.)

Stay safe this winter with your heating system in Salem, OR: call Comfort Flow Heating and enroll in our maintenance program. We are also ready to help you with repairs, any time of the day or night.

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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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