Tag Archives: heating system

Heat Pumps 101: Air Source vs. Ground Source

Heat Pumps 101: Air Source vs. Ground SourceUsing a furnace to heat your home in winter can keep it cozy, but it can also lead to higher utility bills. Heat pumps provide a way to warm up homes at a lower cost. Should you go with an air-source heat pump or a ground-source one for your Peachtree City home?

Learn more about the differences between these heating systems.

Heat Source

Air-source heat pumps pull heat from the air outside your home and bring it indoors. Ground-source heat pumps take heat from the ground and move it inside your home. Both heat sources are renewable forms of energy, making them cleaner and more environmentally friendly than natural gas and other fossil fuels. Keep in mind that you might need to rely on electrical strips or a similar secondary heat source if your air-source heat pump isn’t able to warm your home, which can happen during periods of extreme cold.

Heating and Cooling

Air-source and ground-source heat pumps are both able to heat homes in winter and cool them off in summer. This means you don’t need to run and maintain a separate air conditioning system. A heat pump takes hot air from your home and moves it either outside or into the ground.

Heat Pump Installation

Air-source heat pumps tend to be easier to have installed compared to ground-source ones. You can have your air-source heat pump set up outside your home just as you would have a central air conditioning unit installed. Ground-source pumps require a more complicated installation process. These systems have pipes that need to be installed in the ground, which involves excavating part of your yard.

Heat Pump Costs

A ground-source heat pump typically costs more than an air-source heat pump due to the installation process. Both types of heating systems can save you money in the long run thanks to reduced energy bills and more efficient heating compared to gas and electric furnaces.

If you’re trying to decide between an air-source heat pump or a ground-source one for your Peachtree City home, please contact Powers Heating and Air.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040. 

Heating Options: Furnace or Boiler

Heating Options: Furnace or BoilerThe differences between forced-air furnaces and boilers, or radiant heating, are numerous. As far as heating options for your home go, Peachtree City is on the southern edge of places where both are viable choices. Which you choose depends on the type of heat you like and your physical preferences.

Comfort Comparisons

Radiant heating is slow and steady, while forced-air furnaces, including heat pumps, warm your air quickly and cool off just as fast. Eventually, a home with forced-air will warm to the point where temperatures are warm all over, but the furnace has to cycle on and off numerous times.

By comparison, a boiler runs continuously until the temperature reaches the thermostat’s settings. The heat radiates from wherever the pipes or tubes are that the boiler feeds. They can be in the floor beneath the carpet or tiles, snaked through baseboard heaters, or as radiators that sit in a room. Each room has a turn-off valve, so if you don’t want it heated, just turn off the heat.

If you don’t like a consistently warm home, radiant heating options may not be ideal for you. Occasionally, this region sees warm weather during the winter months and your home may feel too warm until it cools down. On the other hand, families with young children or aging family members often prefer warm floors and furniture.

Health Aspects of Radiant Heating

People who suffer from airborne allergies or asthma often prefer radiant heating options because they don’t move dust around like a forced-air furnace does. They’re also quieter since there is no fan inside the air handler or ductwork noise.

Lifetime Costs

Boilers cost more initially, but over their lifetimes, they’re actually less expensive to own and operate than forced-air systems. They’re more energy efficient, need less maintenance and break down less frequently. They’ll outlast furnaces by a decade or more.

There are good reasons to choose radiant heating options if you like enveloping warmth and forced-air if you don’t need that constant warmth. For more information, contact Powers Heating & Air, providing HVAC services for Peachtree City homeowners.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040. 

How to Know if Your Furnace Efficiency is Right

How to Know if Your Furnace Efficiency is RightFurnace efficiency begins with the AFUE rating determined at the factory. Short for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, AFUE is a percentage that expresses the amount of fuel consumed that actually produces heat versus the percentage lost during combustion and venting.

 

Mandated by federal regulations, today the AFUE standard efficiency rating for furnaces is 80%. More expensive high-efficiency furnaces that recover lost heat, however, come with an AFUE as high as 95%.

 

AFUE is simply the starting point for determining furnace efficiency. Additional factors also play a role in the efficiency you actually receive once the unit is installed and in operation.

Age of the Unit

A typical gas-fired furnace has a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years. If an existing older unit is installed in your house, efficiency standards when that furnace was manufactured may have been significantly lower than today, while energy costs have increased. Upgrading to a new unit that meets current AFUE standards could result in lower operating costs plus better heating performance from day one of installation.

Accurate Sizing

Upgrading a furnace should always include a formal heating load calculation. Performed by a qualified HVAC technician using industry-standard software, data about the unique thermal characteristics of the house is crunched to generate the precise furnace BTU capacity for optimum operating efficiency. If rough guesstimates or a one-size-fits-all approach are utilized—instead of an accurate load calculation—an over-sized or under-sized furnace may be installed, resulting in excessive energy consumption and poor heating performance.

Regular Required Maintenance

To keep a furnace running at its original AFUE energy efficiency rating, annual preventive maintenance is critical. This procedure performed by a qualified HVAC technician supports maximum system efficiency, reliable heating performance and safe operation. It’s also required by the warranty terms of most major manufacturers.

Other Efficiency-Related Issues

Furnace efficiency is also affected by external factors such as condition of the home’s ductwork as well as the amount and quality of insulation in the house.

For qualified sales and service that support maximum furnace efficiency, contact the pros at Powers Heating & Air.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040. 

 

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Keys to Maintaining Your Furnace

Keys to Maintaining Your FurnaceMaintaining your furnace is vital for optimum indoor comfort during the coming winter. However, proper upkeep also serves other very important purposes such as keeping monthly operating costs low and ensuring safe operation. Because many of the most critical maintenance procedures are not suitable do-it-yourself tasks, proper furnace maintenance should always include an annual tune-up and inspection by a qualified HVAC service technician.

 

In addition to that yearly professional care, here are more basic steps you can take for maintaining your furnace yourself.

Change the air filter.

Proper airflow is among the most important parameters for maximum energy efficiency and heating performance. The furnace filter should be checked monthly. It’s an easy DIY procedure. If the filter appears dirty or dusty, replace it immediately. Otherwise, replace the furnace filter with a quality pleated filter every other month without fail.

Check the vents.

Make sure all supply vents and return vents in every room are open and not obstructed by furniture or other objects. Closing vents in individual rooms that may be unoccupied isn’t a good idea. This can unbalance airflow throughout the entire system and may diminish furnace performance and efficiency.

Feel for cold spots.

If a certain room stays stubbornly chilly while other rooms are comfortable, feel the furnace airflow entering through the supply vent. It should be approximately the same temperature and same volume of air as other rooms. If the airflow feels deficient or too cold, ductwork issues affecting that individual room, such as excessive air leakage or a duct segment which has become detached, could be at fault.

Verify programmable thermostat settings.

Make sure you’ve programmed the right temperature settings for colder weather and the shorter days/longer nights of winter. During daytime when the house is occupied, the Department of Energy recommends 68 degrees. When occupants are away, or overnight when everyone’s asleep, the temperature may be cranked down as low as 60 degrees.

 

For qualified professional service for maintaining your furnace, contact Powers Heating & Air.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040. 

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “geralt/Pixabay” 

When to Consider a Heat Recovery Ventilator

When to Consider a Heat Recovery VentilatorA heat recovery ventilator (HRV) represents a new solution to household ventilation issues. With today’s tightly-sealed energy efficient homes, it’s more critical than ever to get fresh air into the house. In the enclosed environment, indoor air quality suffers as pollutants, water vapor and airborne particulates accumulate.

Exhaust Fans Aren’t Enough

Simply exhausting indoor air with one-way exhaust fans isn’t an optimum solution. Because stagnant air removed from the house isn’t replaced by equal amounts of fresh air, the home becomes depressurized. This makes temperature control more difficult, causes the HVAC system to run longer and compromises indoor air quality due to infiltration of unfiltered air.

A Balanced Approach

A heat recovery ventilator consists of a central controller that incorporates separate intake and exhaust fans. The intake system draws fresh air through a filter and distributes it throughout the house through dedicated, small-diameter ductwork. Meanwhile, the exhaust system draws stale air out of the house through separate ducts and exhausts it outdoors. The controller ensures that the volume of air drawn into the house by the intake fan equals the air volume removed by the exhaust fan, thus maintaining balanced indoor air pressure.

Heat Recovery Matters

To prevent unwanted heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer, a heat exchanger in the HRV central controller is positioned between the incoming and outgoing air streams. In winter, heat extracted from the warm exhaust air is transferred to the colder incoming air stream. In summer, the process reverses so heat is removed from intake air and added to cooler outgoing air.

Help With Humidity, Too

An energy recovery ventilator performs all functions of an HRV but also extracts humidity from incoming fresh air and moves it to the outgoing air stream. However, in very humid climates, the dehumidifying function of an ERV may not be sufficient to adequately dry incoming outdoor air. In those cases, a standalone or whole-house dehumidifier is required to keep indoor humidity levels in the recommended range.

 

For more about a heat recovery ventilation to keep your indoor environment fresh, contact Powers Heating & Air.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040. 

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “geralt/Pixabay”