Closed Loop Geothermal Residential HVAC Systems

There are several options when considering residential geothermal HVAC systems. The deciding factor in what works best for you will be determined by how much property you have and how it is laid out. Closed loop systems can be the best options in many situations. It isn’t that complicated but I would advise consulting with an experienced geothermal expert before making any final decisions.

A closed loop system consists of an underground or underwater piping system that circulates an environmentally friendly antifreeze-like solution. That piping system is self-contained so it is never exposed to the ecosystem. As the solution circulates through the tubing from the home it captures heat from the ground or water. That heat is transferred from the solution utilizing a heat exchanger and/or a heat pump which will be used to heat and cool the home. That heat can also be used to create hot water for the home. Once installed it is a cheap, clean, and renewable energy source.

There are three basic designs for residential applications: horizontal, vertical, and pond loop. The size of your property and if you have a pond will dictate which works best for you.

If you have plenty of acreage on your property then a horizontal system may be best for you. The amount of labor and equipment necessary can be considerable and will most certainly inflate the cost. Depending on the size of your home and space available pipes are buried in trenches 6′ to 8′ feet deep and range in lengths from 100′ to 400′.

Vertical loops are ideal when available space is limited. Because of the versatility vertical loops are the most often used. Be aware of how rocky your soil is. Contacting a local geologist could save you a lot of trouble. Well drilling equipment is used to bore small holes straight down from 100′ to 400′ deep.

A pond loop is by far the most economical. The cost is significantly lower due to the lack of excavation that needs to be done. Coils of pipe are placed at the bottom of a pond or lake to capture heat to be transferred back to the home.

These systems transfer heat to and from the structure regardless of the temperature outside to provide year round comfort to your home. Closed loop geothermal HVAC systems are the most versatile and can be applied in almost any situation no matter what the size of your property. Geothermal is renewable and clean. It will, over time, pay for itself.

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7 Questions You Always Wanted to Ask About Your Home’s Heating System

Your home’s HVAC unit system is the heart of the home. There is a reason why they call it central air, because it is at the center of what makes your home inhabitable. Having your home at the ideal temperature makes all the difference when it comes to comfort and coziness. Maintaining the ability to monitor and control the cooling and heating preferences indoors while ensuring the home is properly ventilated and the air filtration system is working correctly, requires some basic understanding about your heating system. Here are 7 questions you always wanted to ask about it.

1. How can I keep my unit working optimally?

The best way to maintain your central air unit is to read the manual so you understand the basic functions of the unit and make sure you complete the regular maintenance on it. Changing air filters regularly and inspecting the unit periodically are some tasks that will help with longevity.

2. What is the importance of changing the air filter?

The air filter should be changed roughly once a month. Some units allow the purchase of special air filters that may only require changing every 3 months. Either way, changing out the air filters are very important. They control the quality of air being pushed through the unit by filtering out dust, dirt, allergens, and other miscellaneous debris.

3. Can I call someone to check up on my unit?

The best HVAC services offer house calls and inspections as well as periodic maintenance plans. Most customers find that they enjoy the service of having regularly scheduled service calls to maintain their air units.

4. What is included in a maintenance plan?

That depends on the company you choose, for most services a repair technician will come out and inspect the unit for normal wear and tear. They will make sure that there are no leaks, cracks, problems with tubing, venting, or ignition ( for the heater ) and complete the regularly scheduled maintenance which may include changing out air filters and topping off the coolant.

5. Should I have my air ducts cleaned?

The decision to have your air ducts cleaned depends on the condition they are in. Normal maintenance of the unit and consistent changing of the air filter should maintain clean and unobstructed air ducts. However, there are instances where previous owners or renters have not properly maintained the air unit and air duct cleaning may be required. When in doubt, contact a specialist to inspect it.

6. How will I know who is qualified to work on my unit?

Qualified technicians will be certified by the state and may even undergo special training in the specific brands that they install and service. You can usually go online and check on their websites for information regarding their credentials and licensure.

7. If my unit breaks down, should I buy a bigger unit?

In some instances, houses that were built long ago have smaller heating units installed that could be upgraded. However, heating units have become smaller and more efficient due to recent technological advancements. Talk with a reputable installation and repair service for more details.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions regarding your central air unit. Your comfort depends on it!

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Thinking About Buying an Energy Efficient Heater? These 5 Facts Might Help

The increases in technology related to home heating are revolutionizing the industry. No longer do customers have to choose between expensive electrical bills or inefficient units that fail to work properly under strenuous conditions. Today customers can have both due to advances in heating efficiency. Energy Star initiatives have mainstreamed efficiency goals nationwide and have allowed healthy competition among manufacturers to produce great quality units at very affordable prices. Gone are the days of expensive units that fail to meet up to expectations. Are you thinking about buying energy efficient heaters? These are 5 facts that may help.

1. Energy efficient units can not fix all your efficiency problem.

Unfortunately, the unit can only do so much. It is true that energy star compliant units save consumers up to 33% on their bills, but this must be in tandem with other energy saving components such as; proper insulation and energy efficient windows. In order to maximize savings, you must combine your unit with the proper services and other heating components so you can get the maximum effect.

2. A proper installation will ensure you get maximum efficiency.

There is no reason to buy a quality efficient unit if it is going to be installed improperly. Improper installations result in extreme loss of efficiency from the get go. Improper installations result in leaks or less than ideal placements of thermostat sensors. Make sure you purchase your unit from a reputable dealer and get it installed by professionals who are certified in energy star HVAC repairs and services and certified to work and handle the specific brand purchased.

3. Maintain your unit with regular maintenance.

Improper maintenance of your unit will result in less efficient output. Make sure you first ensure the unit is installed properly and then maintain the unit with regular maintenance. This often consists of changing out the air filters, inspecting the controls, ensuring the ignition is working (in some units) and overall monitoring the thermostat to ensure the unit is functioning properly.

4. Consider purchasing energy star compliant windows.

Increasing the efficiency of the central unit is only part of the overall battle of creating an energy efficient home. Another component is the quality of the windows. Energy star windows will keep the heat inside the home which will allow the unit to offer you its full savings. Efficient windows are double-paned and offer air tight installation to the home.

5. Properly utilize your thermostat.

Thermostats have become very smart over the years. Now a days small computers inside the thermostats can communicate with sensors all over the home and adjust periodically throughout the day to maintain the ideal state of efficiency. Also, programmable settings allow customers to customize the temps to their liking.

Consider these 5 facts before you make your next heater purchase.

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Various Heating Devices and Their Functions

Heating devices are immensely important now a days everywhere. Life considerably depends on hot water and heating appliances. Just imagine one cold morning you wake up and find that heating system is not working. It is terrible to take the bath with extremely cold water or worse is water got frozen in pipes.

There are many kinds of heating devices in the market serving the varying heating needs of residents. Heating appliances use oil, gas, electricity and solid fuel to perform their operations. They vary in terms of expense and efficiency level. Some of the heating fixtures are

Traditional boilers
Traditional boilers are installed inside or outside of a house. They heat water and circulate it around the premise through pipes. Burner ratio and inside surface of the boiler should be clean in order to achieve a high level of efficiency. Insulated pipes add to the overall heating performance of boilers. Conventional boilers are less expensive.

Condensing boilers

Condensing boilers use oil or gas and are expensive. However, in long-term condensing boiler is a better choice. These boilers provide maximum efficiency of combustion. They are considered to be the ideal for under-floor heating.

Gas heater

A gas heater is a relatively small device which uses natural gas. It can be classified as fluid and non-fluid heaters. Fluid heaters are devices which are installed at a point, while on the other hand, non-fluid heaters can be portable.
Non-fluid heaters are considered to be little risky. Some safety measures have to be observed. Portable gas heaters can only be used in a ventilated environment in order to make the air comfortable and safe.

Electric heating devices

Electric heating, as the name suggests, are devices which simply use electricity to produce heat. They are mostly used to warm up indoor space. Some of the heating devices which electricity are:

1-Fan heaters or convection heaters have a fan which helps circulate the warm air. They are very effective in small indoor space such as a room, and they are less expensive as compared to other heating sources.
2-Heat pump usually uses a compressor to run refrigeration cycle to get heat from air and make it part of a space. They are very useful in moderately cold areas. However, consumption of electricity makes it slightly expensive.
3-The immersion heater is a heating element which is used directly in the water so that it can be warmed and used. It can be used in a water tank with a thermostat to control heat level. Immersion heaters are used for domestic as well as industrial purposes.

Solar heating devices

Solar heating devices have become more popular and environment-friendly. Solar energy can effectively be used to warm up a house. It can meet the demand of millions of homes. However, it becomes difficult for solar heating devices to work properly in extremely cold areas where the sun does not show up for many days.

Under-floor heating system

Under-floor heating systems are very expensive to install. However, it provides balance and comfortable heat in a premise and is ideal so far as comfort is concerned. It may be inadequate in some areas to use the underground heating system.

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5 Reasons Why You Should Have Your Boiler Serviced

When the cold weather starts to show its nasty face, we all know that it won’t be long before the home central heating is switched on to keep us warm. Sometimes though it decides not to work and you have to find someone who knows how to fix it.

A very small percentage of people have their boiler serviced every year without fail, these are the people who prepare for the colder months, knowing that when they need the heating on it will all be fine.

The majority of people though these days seem to forget or just don’t bother to have the boiler serviced until it breaks down. The boiler is just like a car, you need to have the car checked over and oil added if needed, otherwise it will eventually breakdown.

I have listed 5 reasons below on why you should have the boiler serviced.

One of the mains reasons why your boiler should be serviced each year is safety. When a service is carried out the flue pipe that removes the exhaust gas is checked over for leakage. Should a leak in the flue pipe be found, it could be producing carbon monoxide into the room that the boiler is located in, and we all know how dangerous to life it can be.

We all like to keep warm in the winter months, but can you imagine coming home from work on a very cold evening only to find your home is cold because the boiler has stopped.

The boiler fitted in your property normally supplies both hot water and heating throughout your home, should the boiler stop working you may find yourself taking a cold shower.

If your boiler is either a combination or system boiler then it will be fitted with an expansion vessel somewhere, it could be fitted internal of the boiler or fitted externally close to the boiler. This vessel over time will loose its pressure and needs to be reset.

The boilers of today are very highly tuned to give you the user the efficiency you require, when the service is carried out, the boiler is connected to a gas analyser to check on it efficiency and safety. Should the boiler need adjustments then it can be adjusted and checked over again.

If your boiler is around 11 years old or younger it will most likely be a high efficient condensing boiler. These boilers are not like the old style boilers that went on for many years without having a service. Those boilers were very costly to use, around 40% of your fuel bill went out of the boilers flue.

Today’s condensing boilers have an efficiency rating of around 90%, that’s a saving of around 30% on your fuel bill, but if fail to have the boiler serviced you will start see your fuel bills rise along with the fuel suppliers regular increase.

It’s very important to have a regular boiler service because it will also increase the life of the boiler, if left then the life span becomes very low, and you will be changing the boiler at some stage, and we all know how costly that can be.

Top Tip, When you find someone to service your boiler, if the boiler works by gas then you must use a Gas Safe Registered Engineer to carry out the work for you. You must not use a friend or someone who says don’t worry I can do it for you unless they are registered.

The boiler when working keeps us all warm with plenty of hot water, but when it stops it become a headache.

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