Premier Indoor Comfort Systems Blog

Problems That May Occur with a Radiant Floor Heating System

January 22nd, 2015

No one likes to think about the repairs they may encounter with their heating system, but it’s likely that at some point you will need to call for heating repair in Macon City. If you have a radiant heating system, the repairs you may have to manage will depend at least somewhat on the kind of radiant heating system you have. There are two main types of radiant heating systems – hydronic and electric – and different repairs can develop with each type. As such, it’s best to address this question by breaking down the two types of systems first.

Hydronic

Hydronic radiant heating systems heat via hot water or steam. A boiler is needed to generate the hot water, so a boiler is an important part of a hydronic heating system. The types of repair problems that you may see with a hydronic radiant heating system are:

  • Issues with the boiler – boilers are durable and have fewer moving parts than a furnace, but age can wear a unit down. If the boiler isn’t working the way it’s supposed to, your radiant heating won’t, either.
  • Air lock – just as bubbles can get into the piping and cause an issue with a radiator, they can do the same with the PEX tubing used for your radiant heating. Air lock can cause a blockage in the flow of the steam or water, creating a cold spot where there should be heat.

Electric

Electric radiant heating uses cable that heats when electrified. The cable can be installed directly to subflooring, be installed as part of an electrically-conductive mat or set in cement. Repair problems that can develop with an electric radiant heating system are:

  • Tripping circuit breakers – depending on the size of your radiant flooring space, you may need to upgrade your electric box in order to accommodate the extra electrical load the flooring requires; if you don’t, you could end up with tripping circuit breakers that cut off the electricity and your heat.
  • Uneven heating – should the electric cables suffer any kind of damage or be defective, you could have sections of your flooring that aren’t getting any heat, resulting in uneven heating.

Radiant heating repairs in Macon City should always be handled by a trained expert, so if you are experiencing problems with your radiant heating, contact Premier Indoor Comfort Systems today.

Solar Products Available for Installation in Atlanta

January 15th, 2015

By now, you’ve probably heard about the many environmental benefits of switching your home’s power source to solar. Standard electricity and natural gas consumption contributes to greenhouse gases that pollute the air. Converting your home’s power source to solar energy panels can help you to protect the environment while cutting down on your monthly bills. In fact, you may notice solar energy savings beyond what you expected. When you produce enough solar energy to feed back into the electrical grid, your utility company credits you for the amount of the contribution, so you can actually get money back on your monthly bill. Any of the following products can help you to save money and use energy wisely with solar energy savings in Atlanta.

  • Solar Panels to Power the Entire Home: A whole-home energy system may be a possibility in your home, especially if you’re concerned about saving money from month to month. While the upfront cost can be quite large, the monthly savings should eventually make up for the cost. You can feel good about your environmental impact as this technology produces no hazardous carbon emissions and does not require any extensive drilling or mining to generate power.
  • Solar Air Conditioning and Heating: If you’re not ready to make the switch and power your entire home with solar energy, why not start with some of the biggest energy hogs in your home? The air conditioning and heating system occupies a large portion of your bills, but when powered with solar panels, you may cut your bills in half (depending on average usage).
  • Solar-Powered Water Heater: Conventional storage tank water heaters keep water heated throughout the day, resulting in quite a bit of standby energy loss—energy that is consumed by the appliance but not used. With a solar powered water heater, you won’t have to worry about the energy used to keep the water heated at all times, as this energy comes directly from the sun’s rays.

Not only do these products allow you to save money and feel good about your environmental impact; they’re also generally hassle-free. Solar panels require very little maintenance, and it’s not often that they’ll need repairs.

Call the solar experts at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems to discuss your home’s energy needs and find out about the potential solar energy savings available in Atlanta.

How Can I Make Sure My New Water Heater Runs Efficiently?

January 8th, 2015

Your new water heater installation in Marietta will provide you with the hot water you need for warm showers and washing your dishes. But it doesn’t operate for free, and you want it to last – so what can you do? There are some simple steps you can take to help your water heater run more efficiently while maintaining its ability to provide you with hot water whenever you need it:

  • Add an insulation blanket – an insulation blanket can help cut heat loss from the outside of the storage tank by up to 40%; this can result in energy savings you’ll see reflected in your monthly bill. NOTE: a combustion water heater should only be wrapped by a trained professional.
  • Insulate your water pipes – wrapping foam your hot water pipes helps the water inside them retain heat; this can help reduce your energy costs.
  • Lower the water temperature – if you cap your water temperature at 140F, you can reduce the amount of energy you use to heat your water. Lower temperatures also help reduce mineral build-up in your water tank.
  • Replace the anode – every water heater has a component called a sacrificial anode. This component purposefully attracts the electrolytes that contribute to oxidation (rust). Once the anode is fully rusted, the electrolytes may attack the tank. By replacing the sacrificial anode, you can keep rust and corrosion at bay.
  • Flush bi-annually – sediment and mineral deposits can build up inside a tank; by doing a bi-annual flush of the tank, you can remove these build-ups and restore the tank to optimal working condition.
  • Schedule annual maintenance – during an annual maintenance, your entire water heater is checked and inspected; it is also flushed and the anode replaced if needed. All the heating elements are inspected and any parts that need lubrication are oiled.

Helping your new water heater run efficiently can help lower your energy usage and your energy bills.

If you need more assistance with making sure your water heater operates efficiently, call Premier Indoor Comfort Systems today.

How Does Radiant Heating Work?

January 2nd, 2015

Radiant heating has long been a bit of a secret among homeowners. Though the technique at the core of radiant heating has been used since the Roman Empire was in power, the popularity of forced air heating systems has kept radiant heating somewhat in the background of the heating market. In an effort to dispel some of the mystery around radiant heating systems, let’s take a look at how they work. We’ll also tell you about some of their distinct advantages, and why you may want to consider installing one.

What is Radiant Heating?

The term “radiant heating” refers to a boiler-based system that heats a home by distributing hot water. This may not sound that much different from a water heater, and for the most part it isn’t. The difference is that a radiant system heats an entire room, not just the water coming out of the faucet.

Radiant heating installation involves installing a water pipe network into the subfloor of each room. These pipes are then connected to a central boiler.

How it Works

When the heat is turned on, the boiler heats and distributes water throughout the house. As the hot water flows through the pipes underneath the floor, they transmit thermal energy through the floor and into each room. This is why the system is called “radiant heating,” because the heat radiates up through the floor. The thermal energy is transmitted from object to object, eventually heating the whole room.

Why Install Radiant Heating?

There are any number of reasons to install radiant heating instead of forced air systems. Radiant heating is much more efficient than forced air, both at heating a room and saving energy. Water is a much more efficient thermal conductor than air is, meaning that the radiant system can deliver more heat to a location than a forced air system can.

Radiant systems can also heat a room much more evenly and comfortably than a forced air system. When warm air is blown into a room, it floats to the top. This leaves the bottom half of the room much colder and uncomfortable. Radiant heating moves from the floor upwards, and doesn’t use air as a medium for transmitting heat. This makes the room much more comfortable close to the floor, where people can benefit from it.

If you’d like to know more, call Premier Indoor Comfort Systems. Our heating experts cover all of Canton.

12 Grapes for 12 Months: An Unusual New Year’s Tradition

January 1st, 2015

Across the world, many cultures have specific traditions to celebrate the transition from the old year to the new. In the U.S. and Canada, we associate New Year’s with the ball in Times Square, kissing at the stroke of midnight, resolutions, and singing “Old Lang Syne.” But for many Spanish-speaking countries, one of the key traditions has to do with eating grapes as fast as possible.

The “twelve grapes” tradition comes from Spain, where it is called las doce uvas de la suerte (“The Twelve Lucky Grapes”). To ensure good luck for the next year, people eat one green grape for each of the upcoming twelve months. However, you cannot just eat the grapes during the first day of the new year any time you feel like it. You must eat the twelve grapes starting at the first stroke of midnight on Nochevieja (“Old Night,” New Year’s Eve) as one year changes to another. And you have to keep eating: with each toll of midnight, you must eat another grape, giving you about twelve seconds to consume all of them. If you can finish all dozen grapes—you can’t still be chewing on them!—before the last bell toll fades, you will have a luck-filled new year.

Where did this tradition come from? No one is certain, although it appears to be more than a century old. One story about the Twelve Lucky Grapes is that a large crop of grapes in 1909 in Alicante, Spain led to the growers seeking out a creative way to eliminate their surplus. But recent research through old newspapers shows that perhaps the tradition goes back almost thirty years earlier to the 1880s, where eating grapes was meant to mock the upper classes who were imitating the French tradition of dining on grapes and drinking champagne on New Year’s Eve.

It can be difficult to consume grapes this fast, and the lucky grapes of New Year’s Eve have seeds in them, making the job even trickier. (Seedless grapes are not common in Spain the way they are over here.) For people to manage eating all the grapes before the last stroke of midnight requires swallowing the seeds as well and only taking a single bite of each grape.

Oh, there is one more twist to the tradition: you have to be wearing red undergarments, and they have to be given to you as a gift. The origins of this part of the tradition are even more mysterious, and it’s anybody’s guess why this started.

Whether you go for the grape challenge or find another way to ring in New Year’s, all of us at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems LLC hope you have a great start to the year and a fruitful 2015.

The Composition of Snowflakes: Are No Two Alike?

December 25th, 2014

“No two snowflakes are alike.”

This is a statement nearly every schoolchild has heard at least once, either while crafting unique snowflakes with a sheet of folded paper and some scissors or while learning a lesson on the science of snow. While even most scientists don’t quite understand what causes a snowflake to form such complex and beautiful columns and points and branches, one thing is for certain, the composition of snowflakes guarantees that no two will ever be identical.  However, it is possible for two snowflakes to appear to be nearly exactly alike.

A snowflake begins to form when a piece of dust catches water vapor out of the air. Water is created when two hydrogen molecules attach to an oxygen molecule. The two hydrogen molecules are angled from one another in such a way that they form a hexagonal shape when they come together during the freezing process; thus, a snowflake begins as a simple hexagonal shape or as layers of hexagons called diamond dust. The emergent properties that follow from the original hexagon are what differentiate one snowflake from another, as the humidity, the temperature in the air, and many other factors (some of which remain unclear to scientists) allow each snowflake to form in an entirely unique way with a seemingly endless variety of shapes.

However, in 1988, a scientist named Nancy Knight claimed to have located two that were the same while studying snowflakes as part of an atmospheric research project. And it appeared to be so; when put under a microscope, the emergent properties looked nearly identical. But while it is feasible that two snowflakes can appear to be exactly alike on the outside, they are never identical on an atomic level. Deuterium is an atom that appears attached to about one in every 3000 hydrogen molecules in the air. Because there are millions of atoms that make up a snowflake, the random assortment of deuterium in any two snowflakes—even in two that so very closely resemble one another—simply cannot be the same.

Here at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems, we’d like to remind you to grab a cup of cocoa and relax with your family this holiday, perhaps by crafting some unique snowflake creations of your own. We wish you a very happy holiday season, from our family to yours!

The Thermostat and Heating Repair

December 18th, 2014

When your heating stops working, you are probably tempted to go straight to the heating unit and see what’s wrong, or call a professional to do it for you. No one can blame you for these actions. After all, if the heat stops working, it’s reasonable to assume that the heater is the cause. Believe it or not, however, this isn’t always the case. Read on to find out how the thermostat can affect your heating.

The Thermostat

The thermostat is like the central nervous system of your heating system. It is responsible for everything your heater does, from when it turns on to when it turns off and everything in-between. Modern thermostats are primarily constructed of a sensor, control circuit, and user interface.

Once the desired temperature is set, the thermostat waits until the sensor registers a rise or drop from that temperature. Once the sensor registers a temperature change, the control circuit orders the heating system to start up. Once the temperature rises back to where it should be, the thermostat turns the heating system off. Incidentally, this is why it doesn’t warm the house faster if you turn the thermostat up higher. The temperature of the air the heating system produces is always the same. A higher thermostat temperature will just cause the system to work longer before turning off.

Heating Repair

When you call an HVAC technician to your home to find out what’s wrong with your heating system, he or she will almost always check the thermostat first. That’s because, as mentioned previously, the thermostat is indispensable to the heating system’s operation. If the thermostat’s sensor is malfunctioning, the heater might never turn on. If the control circuit is broken, the heater might never turn off and vice versa. Even if the heating system itself is in absolutely perfect condition, a broken thermostat can prevent it from working. So, the next time your heater is having issues, don’t automatically assume there’s something wrong with it. Check the thermostat first, then call a professional.

If you’d like to know more, call Premier Indoor Comfort Systems. We provide heating repair throughout Roswell.

Some Benefits to Choosing Radiant Floor Heating Installation

December 11th, 2014

So, you’re looking around for a new home heating system, and you’ve heard tell of something called “radiant floor heating.” Radiant floor heating is something that is often overshadowed by forced air systems, especially furnaces. This is a shame, since radiant floor heating actually has quite a few benefits compared to other systems. Let’s take a look at the advantages you can garner by installing radiant floor heating in your home.

What is Radiant Floor Heating?

First things first, what exactly is radiant floor heating? Radiant floor heating is a boiler-based system that uses hot water to heat the rooms of your house. Installing a radiant floor heating system begins by installing a network of water pipes in the subfloor of each room. This network is then connected to a central boiler. The boiler heats and distributes water throughout the house using this network. While the boiler is in operation, the heat from the water is transmitted through the water pipes and up through the floor.

What are the Benefits

The primary benefit of radiant floor heating is simple: it heats rooms better than forced air systems do. There are two reasons for this. The first reason is that water is a much better thermal conductor than air is. Water heats up more quickly, and retains heat for longer, than air does. This allows more heat to be delivered to each room, and for that heat to last longer.

The second reason has to do with the actual delivery system. Forced air systems lose as much as 30% of their heat on average to leaks in the ductwork. That’s almost a third of the system’s total heat output that is being wasted every time the heat is on. Radiant heat systems don’t use ducts at all, thus avoiding one of the biggest drawbacks of more traditional systems.

Overall, a radiant floor heating system is much more energy efficient than furnace systems, and can save you quite a bit of money. If you’d like to know more about installing a radiant floor heating system, call Premier Indoor Comfort Systems. Our heating experts cover all of Swain County.

Are these Water Heater Noises Normal?

December 4th, 2014

Unusual noises in the home can seem worrisome, or they can just appear to be a normal part of operation for the fixtures and appliances you use every day. When you hear strange noises from your water heater, you may think that it’s a completely normal part of operation. However, it’s important to note that, while water heaters do not run completely silently, a storage tank water heater should not make any sudden unexpected noises if it is working as it should.

When you notice any noise from your heater you’ve never heard before, it’s important to call a water heater expert to ask whether the issue is typical. An experienced technician can best determine whether your particular unit is meant to make this types of noise or if it’s something out of the ordinary. Here at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems, we’ve put together a primer on a few of the most common sounds homeowners may worry about.

  • Sizzling Sounds: If you frequently notice a sizzling sound from the water heater, it might be due to condensation dripping on the burner. This could affect the amount of hot water that makes its way into your home.
  • Banging or Rattling: Any unusual loud sound from the water heater like a banging or rattling noise could be due to sediment in the tank. “Hard water,” a problem common to most homes, is an excess of minerals in the water supply. Over time, sediment can build up and bang around in the tank. This can change the pressure inside the tank, which could lead to serious problems if left unaddressed.
  • Rushing Water: The sound of rushing water often indicates that the pressure inside the tank is too high. Pressure must remain somewhat consistent and is monitored by the pressure relief valve. If your pressure is off, it could just be that you need a new pressure relief valve. Alternatively, there may be too much sediment blocking the tank, which sometimes means the problem is serious and a replacement is necessary.

We recommend also scheduling annual maintenance to make sure that these types of sounds do not reoccur in the future.

Call Premier Indoor Comfort Systems to schedule service for all types of water heaters in Sharpsburg.

10 Facts You Should Know about Thanksgiving

November 27th, 2014

Thanksgiving has been celebrated as an official holiday in the United States for over 150 years, so you may think you understand all there is to know about this family feast. Most of us have heard the story of the pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving in 1621 after arriving in North America on the Mayflower. But did you know that only about half of the people on this ship were actually pilgrims? This fact is one of ten things that may actually surprise you about the Thanksgiving tradition!

  1. Although we often consider Thanksgiving a holiday unique to the United States, many other countries and cultures celebrate their own set of harvest-time and thanksgiving traditions. In Korea, Chu-Sok (or “fall evening”) is put on in remembrance of forefathers on August 15th of every year. Brazil celebrates a contemporary version of the U.S. holiday. Chinese, Roman, and Jewish cultures all have a history of harvest celebrations as well.
  2. President Harry S. Truman began the tradition of a ceremony held before Thanksgiving during which the president receives a turkey. George H.W. Bush was the first to pardon the turkey instead of eating it.
  3. In Minnesota alone, farmers raise over 40 million turkeys a year. In fact, U.S. farmers produce about one turkey for every one person in the country.
  4. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the average American will gain about one to two pounds every year during the holiday season.
  5. On the other hand, turkey is naturally high in protein and has been known to support and boost immune systems to protect against illness and speed up healing. So feast on!
  6. Abraham Lincoln issued a “Thanksgiving Proclamation” in 1863, but a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale can be credited with the idea. While Thanksgiving had been celebrated at different times of year in many areas of the U.S. for years, it was Hale, prominent magazine editor and author of the rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” who urged Lincoln to finally establish the national event.
  7. President Franklin D Roosevelt once tried to change the date of Thanksgiving to the second-to-last Thursday of the month in order to extend the holiday shopping season and boost the economy.
  8. Only about half of the people on the Mayflower were what we would consider today as “Pilgrims.” The other (approximately) 50 people were simply trying to find a way over to the New World.
  9. Gobble, gobble! Click, click? While male turkeys make a gobbling noise, females (hens) do not; it’s often described as a clicking.
  10. Even though we celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November, the month of June has been declared National Turkey Lovers’ Month by the National Turkey Federation so you can continue the celebration in the summer as well!

From our family here at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems LLC, we’d like to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!