Premier Indoor Comfort Systems LLC Blog : Archive for December, 2014

The Composition of Snowflakes: Are No Two Alike?

Thursday, 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!

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The Thermostat and Heating Repair

Thursday, 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.

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Some Benefits to Choosing Radiant Floor Heating Installation

Thursday, 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.

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Are these Water Heater Noises Normal?

Thursday, 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.

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