Here’s How To Get The Most Out Of Your Hot Water Heater

Nothing is worse than getting into the shower or drawing a nice “hot” bath only to learn that you have no hot water. You can avoid this scene by using the following water heater tips to keep your unit working and providing hot water when you need it most.

Check the anode rod to see if it needs to be replaced. The purpose of the rod is to keep your hot water heater clean. The rod should be checked around the same time each year. A plumber can replace the anode rod for you.

Check the receipts or paperwork that came with your unit for the date of purchase. A hot water heater should be replaced about every eight years. If your water heater is not heating the way it should or if you are having problems such as water leaking from the appliance, it may be time to install a new heater.

Your water heater may require flushing. If your unit requires it, contact a qualified professional to flush it for you. Flushing the unit is not an easy do-it-yourself project. Rather than take a chance on not doing it properly or damaging the heater, hire a plumber to do the job right.

There are also some steps you can take to make sure your water heater works more efficiently. The temperature of the water does not need to exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit. By keeping the water temperature in the 120 degree range, you will save on your utility bill and also avoid scalding hot water which could cause injuries, especially when there are young children in the home.

Another energy saving strategy is to have your water heater insulated. This is especially important if the unit is located in a garage or basement that gets cold in winter. Insulation will help the unit work more efficiently and will help you save on energy costs.

These are just a few water heater tips that can help you get the most out of your hot water heater. Follow us for more great ideas on all aspects of home maintenance needs.

How Important Is It To Get The Right Size Of Heating And Cooling Equipment?

Energy consumption for heating and cooling systems accounts for around 5 percent of the electricity produced in U.S—this is almost $15 billion. As a homeowner, therefore, going for energy efficient systems makes a lot of sense. Correctly sizing your heating and cooling system is one way that you can use to cut down your energy costs.

Unlike older homes, modern homes have many other additions including more windows, weather stripping, insulation, and caulking among other features. This implies that even with a smaller system, you can still keep your home comfortable and save money in your monthly utility bills.

Generally, over sized heating and cooling systems are:

  • Expensive to install
  • Operates inefficiently; will break more often; and will cost you more to operate
  • Create uncomfortable and wide temperature swings
  • Will not run long to dehumidify air and may contribute to mold growth
  • Have frequent starts and stops which accelerates their wear and tear and eventual equipment failure
  • Use more fan power and are vulnerable to duct leakage problems due to high duct pressures.

 

Sizing Your Cooling and Heating System Correctly

Most contractors will only check the label listing of your existing system and advice to go for a similar one, or even worse, one’s that’s bigger. Others will also base the size of your HVAC system on what other customers (with similar home size) settled on or purchased. These are not the correct way to size HVAC equipment and are never in your best interest.

The best methods that you should use are the Manual D (Residential Duct Design) and Manual J (Residential Load Calculation) methods. The two methods take into account factors such as size and orientation of your home, insulation levels, air infiltration rates, occupant preference levels, age and number of occupants, window location, roof surface color, local climate, efficiency of major appliances that produce heat, duct air leakage, and window building materials among other factors.

Correct HVAC sizing will impact your home’s comfort level, energy costs, and the lifespan of your equipment. Before you install your HVAC unit, therefore, ensure that you understand the significance of your system correctly.

For more information follow us at //countrysideph.com/blog/

2015 Water Heater Efficiency Regulation Changes

In 2015, every water heater manufacturer that sells in the United States must have their equipment conformed to the new standards of energy efficiency.  This is applicable to all residential, propane, electric and gas water heaters.  Water heaters as they are currently known will not look the same.

New 2015 Water Heater Regulation Changes

Water heaters that are manufactured after April 16, 2015 are required to obey the rules for the new energy efficiency standards.   This will result in a mandatory increase of between 3 and 30 percent greater efficiency versus current models.  The quantity differs by tank size according to the formulas.  More efficiency will be required based on the size of the tank.  There are only small gains in efficiency; however, the overwhelming majority of US homes have a water heater.  Therefore, this can add up to huge environmental benefits.

The Effects

If your tankless water heater has efficiency rating over .82, it is already compliant.  However, if you have a regular tank heater, you could be affected.  To achieve the efficiency, additional insulation will be added by manufacturers.  You will be impacted as outlined below:

In 2015, every water heater manufacturer that sells in the United States must have their equipment conformed to the new standards of energy efficiency.  This is applicable to all residential, propane, electric and gas water heaters.  Water heaters as they are currently known will not look the same.

New 2015 Water Heater Regulation Changes

Water heaters that are manufactured after April 16, 2015 are required to obey the rules for the new energy efficiency standards.   This will result in a mandatory increase of between 3 and 30 percent greater efficiency versus current models.  The quantity differs by tank size according to the formulas.  More efficiency will be required based on the size of the tank.  There are only small gains in efficiency; however, the overwhelming majority of US homes have a water heater.  Therefore, this can add up to huge environmental benefits.

The Effects

If your tankless water heater has efficiency rating over .82, it is already compliant.  However, if you have a regular tank heater, you could be affected.  To achieve the efficiency, additional insulation will be added by manufacturers.  You will be impacted as outlined below:

Fitting It In

These new tanks will be different in size; they will be wider and taller.  Additionally, larger venting will be required for some of the gas water heaters.

Custom Installation

The installer may need to do some creative planning to fit the new heater to fit some homes.  For example, if a 50-gallon tank is too big, a 40-gallon tank that have an additional mixing valve could produce the required amount of hot water.  Fortunately, we have the experience to get that done.

Price Increase

Manufacturers will need to undertake the expensive task of re-tooling production lines. There will also be increased materials cost from the added tank insulation; as such, we expect a price increase in the $100 range.

Three Replacement Choices

• Substitute with the style and size of your existing tank while it is still available.

• Upgrade to compliant water heaters

• Think about moving to a tankless heater

These are things that must be done in keeping with the 2015 Water Heater Regulation Changes.

These new tanks will be different in size; they will be wider and taller.  Additionally, larger venting will be required for some of the gas water heaters.

Custom Installation

The installer may need to do some creative planning to fit the new heater to fit some homes.  For example, if a 50-gallon tank is too big, a 40-gallon tank that have an additional mixing valve could produce the required amount of hot water.  Fortunately, we have the experience to get that done.

Price Increase

Manufacturers will need to undertake the expensive task of re-tooling production lines. There will also be increased materials cost from the added tank insulation; as such, we expect a price increase in the $100 range.

Three Replacement Choices

• Substitute with the style and size of your existing tank while it is still available.

• Upgrade to compliant water heaters

• Think about moving to a tankless heater

These are things that must be done in keeping with the 2015 Water Heater Regulation Changes.

For more information visit us at //countrysideph.com/blog/

Things To Do Before A Furnace Replacement

Having a furnace replacement performed is something that always inevitably happens with all furnaces. Eventually, they will wear down because they are not performing as well, or you may want to change your furnace in order to better keep up with your energy bills. No matter the reason, remember these following tips that will help you prepare for a replacement.

The first thing that you will need to do is carefully track your furnace’s performance. The first step is to make sure that your furnace actually needs to be replaced, because you do not want to buy a new unit too early and lose money. Consider the age of your unit and whether or not it has been performing up to your standards lately.

Do a little bit of personal research before you figure out what furnace you need. Explore your options and see what brand names will be able to provide you with the best deal and services for your unit. It is important for you to learn everything you need to know about your house’s energy and heating needs before you even begin to look at your potential options.

Try to schedule for a tune up as soon as possible. This will help you prepare for any problems that may occur. The winter season is when your furnace will be working its hardest to keep up with your needs, so if you are sure that you need to have a replacement done, it is a good idea to have it done before the winter. Forcing your furnace to work harder during the colder season will put more strain on your home and on your bills.

If you are not sure about what type of replacement you need, or even if you need one, it is always recommended to speak with a professional. Contacting a Countryside Plumbing and Heating Inc., HVAC specialist will allow you to explore your options in a much more definable way. Our professionals will not only be able to inspect your unit and help you determine the right conclusion, but they can also provide you with advice on future maintenance.

Contact us today for all your cooling and heating needs.

Explanation On Flammable Vapor Ignition Resistant

If you take a look at the water heaters available in the market then you will notice that they are all FVIR or Flammable Vapor Ignition Resistant ones. From 2005 onwards, all the water heaters produced in North America are FVIR ones. In the past, water heaters running on propane or Liquefied Petroleum and natural gas caused tremendous fires in case there are flammable liquids such as gasoline nearby and gas spills occur. Thankfully, with FVIR models, things are a lot safer as these models boast of an impressive design that helps in preventing flashback fires.

In case of a flammable vapor ignition resistant water heater, its technology prevents flashback fires from breaking out by trapping and burning the hazardous gas vapors inside its body instead of in the room. The ignited vapors do not get released to the combustion chamber and the air flow towards the combustion chamber is one-way. This type of heater also comes with an inner door and a burner assembly which ensures that the combustion chamber is sealed and that the flammable vapors and combustion air do not enter this chamber from the front side of the water heater.
Thanks to FVIR water heaters, a lot of injuries and even deaths associated with accidental fire can be prevented. This special type of water heater also produces very little Nitrogen Oxides in case of emissions, therefore it is quite environmental-friendly as well. It is made up of a flame arrestor plate, a thermal cutoff switch and a screen for protecting the combustion process from dust, lint or oil.

This type of water heater is designed in such a manner that vapors aren’t ignited outside the combustion chamber at all, thus minimizing the risks of fire to a great extent! In case the flames travels in an opposite direction and ignite the vapor outside the combustion chamber of the water heater then the multi-purpose calibrated thermal switch automatically shuts down the main burner and the pilot on detecting the problem. Flammable vapor ignition resistant water heaters are a cut above the rest, therefore it is extremely beneficial to invest in one such heater. Call (800) 542-4243 to get your FVIR water heater installed and experience the difference!

Solutions To Cold Water Sandwich Effect

What is the cold water sandwich effect?

A cold water sandwich effect refers to the phenomenon where the water from a heater is warm for first few minutes, then there is a burst of cold water, and then the water quickly returns to being warm again. This is a common phenomenon with tankless water heaters. There is some water which remains stored in warm condition at the mouth of the faucet or other outlets, which means when someone runs the tap or the shower, he will receive some hot water instantly. However, a tankless heater takes some time to heat up the exchanger and during that time, some cold water may get through the exchanger and reach the user. This is what results in the cold water sandwich effect. This should not be too great an inconvenience if you are turning on the heater for minor use, but you may not like it too much if you are under a shower!

The phenomenon is more common to electric water heaters than it is with gas powered heaters. The reason for this is that gas reaches the operating temperature almost immediately, whereas electric heaters may take a minute or two to reach the required temperature for heating.

However, there are solutions to this situation. Installing a recirc loop which will return the cold water back to the heater through the help of flow check valves is a common solution. But on the downside, this system results in overwork of the heater. This does not only mean greater energy consumption, but the longevity of the system suffers, too. An alternative is to plug in a small 110V 5-6 gallon tank heater to the outlet and add the recirc loop from the tank to the tankless heater. This way, the heater is spared any overwork and energy consumption remains to the minimum. For a better understanding of how this system works, interested customers can download a diagram of the process from the Rinnai website, the manufacture of the second kind of heater described above.

For any other plumbing and HVAC needs for your home, do give us a call today and we will get back to you immediately.

What Is I.A.Q (Indoor Air Quality)?

What Is Indoor Air Quality?

Indoor air quality is defined as the air quality within or around the buildings. The indoor air quality can be affected by a variety of things, including wood, coal, tobacco products, kerosene, gas and oil.The central air conditioning and heating system can also have a negative impact on indoor air quality.

Additionally, outdoor sources can have a negative impact on indoor air quality. Outdoor air pollution, pesticides and radon are examples of outside sources that may affect indoor air quality.

How Does Indoor Air Quality Harm Health?

Immediate Effects

One of the reasons indoor air pollution is a concern is because it has been linked to many health problems. In fact, many people notice the effects after being exposed to indoor air pollution for a short amount of time. Dizziness, headaches, sore throat and irritation around the eyes, nose and mouth are some of the immediate effects of indoor air pollution.

Many factors determine the effects indoor air pollution has on the person who is being exposed to it. Preexisting medical conditions and age are two of those factors. People who are exposed to indoor air pollution may experience symptoms similar to those of colds and other respiratory problems. It is often difficult to determine whether a person’s symptoms were caused by the exposure to indoor air pollution or a respiratory illness.

Long-Term Effects

Many people do not notice the effects of indoor air pollution until years after they have been exposed to it. In many cases, long-term exposure to indoor pollution can cause serious health problems. Cancer and heart disease are two of the health conditions linked to long-term exposure to indoor air pollution.

It is important to note people react differently to exposure to indoor air pollution. More research needs to be conducted in order to fully understand the health effects of indoor air pollution. Researchers are also trying to determine how much pollution one needs to be exposed to in order to experience adverse health effects.

You may want to have the air quality in your home tested. Call us to schedule your indoor air quality testing today.

Furnace Warning Signs To Know

If you own a car you probably have certain signs that you know to watch out for when it comes to the health and well-being of your car. You know that if you hear certain noises or see certain things, it is time to take action, or even take it in for repairs. The same should be try for your HVAC system, including your furnace. Paying attention to these signs can help decrease the amount you spend to fix your furnace in the long run, as well as keeping your furnace running in its best shape. Here are the top signs to pay attention to when it comes to your furnace:

Furnace Warning Sign #1: A Yellow Flame
The flame on the ignition of your furnace should be a pure blue. If it appears yellow, orange or red, this is of great concern. The pure blue color lets you know that your furnace is getting the appropriate mixture of oxygen and gas, as it should. This warning sign should be taken very seriously. Obstructed airflow can be one part of this problem.

Furnace Warning Sign #2: Old Furnace
Many furnaces can last an upwards of 10-20 years, and yours may be one of them. However, once a furnace reaching the decade mark, it is much more susceptible to breakdowns and the need for repairs. Do not press your luck too long, or you will be freezing while trying to pay for a new furnace.

Furnace Warning Signs #3: A Broken Thermostat
You may have a problem with the thermostat on your furnace if it is constantly clicking on and off, or if you notice it runs a lot without getting or keeping your home at its desired temperature. This would warrant a call to your local HVAC contractor.

Furnace Warning Signs #4: Smells and Sounds
Keep an eye out for any strange smells or sounds coming from your HVAC system. These are both strong warning signs that your furnace may need repair or replacement.

If your furnace has been exhibiting any of these systems, or you just feel that it is time for a maintenance call and furnace inspection, give your local HVAC contractors and company today.

Make Your Home Warmer Without Adjusting The Temperature

Making your home warmer without adjusting the temperature starts by stopping warm air from escaping, preventing the entry of cold air and thoroughly insulating your home trapping the heated air in and the cold air out. These basic strategies for saving on your heating bills begin with checking for air leaks all over the home. By finding and sealing drafts, there is a potential savings of 5-30% on your energy usage. Look for openings that allow air through along every outlet to the outdoors.

Possible Points of Entry or Exit of Air
• Door frames
• Windows and window frames
• Holes used to thread faucets and pipes
• Entries and exits for electrical wiring
• Cracks in the mortar, foundation or siding
• Leaks along the gaps of the floor boards and joins of the ceiling and walls
• Air leaks along the joins in the ductwork of central heating units

Leaks Cost Money

By plugging up air leaks and preventing warm air from escaping and cold air from entering a homeowner can save at least 10-30% of the heating bill. Your heating service can have send a professional HVAC service technician to give your home an evaluation determining the location of leaks. The technician will use equipment that tests the area for the location of leaks in the home. A blower door tester in combination with a duct leak detector will force leaks throughout the building envelope to reveal them more clearly when a pressure detector is used.

Insulation Saves Money

Air escapes through the solid structure of your floors, walls and ceilings. The percentage of heat loss in each area of your home amounts to 35% due to air flow in or out of various leaks, 18-20% through windows and doors, 15-18% through floors and basements, 12-14% through walls and 10% through ceilings. By checking the insulation in these areas and insulating to current standards, homeowners can save hundreds of dollars in heating costs over the years.

It may be determined after all the leak repairs are made that your heating unit is simply not very efficient or requires too many costly repairs to perform well. In such an instance, the best course of action is a new heater installation. Invest in an efficient energy star rated unit and start benefiting from the monthly savings. Prepare for winter with annual heater maintenance, sealing leaks and updating insulation throughout the house and enjoy winter in comfort.

Heating System Checked Before Winter

If you are having heating difficulties and need a heating system checked before winter, call a professional for furnace repair or replacement. While work is being done for heater repair let us inspect your ducts in your home.

Heat pump problems range from simple to severe. Some are preventable with maintenance checks, but when your furnace needs repairing a residential heating service will get your unit, repaired or replaced efficiently. During the cold season, the furnace never gets a rest, this piece of machinery works around the clock, many times when you are out. A furnace takes a lot of punishment and can only operate properly if maintained year round. 

Cloudy days require an efficient furnace to keep a home warm. A sunny day only means things get warm that are directly in the sun but the inside of your home will still feel winters chill.  

Wherever you live, make your home comfortable by having a furnace installed or repaired by an experienced crew. Our repair and installation service is qualified to handle duct work, properly install wiring and installing thermostats to control furnace temperatures, helping to conserve energy. Proper maintenance can reduce furnace repairs or help avoid them altogether.  

When starting furnace repair or replacements jobs, take advantage of government tax credits for furnace replacement, this applies to split and packaged systems. Residential Heating Services are able to help you verify eligibility, prices are reasonable, and every effort is made to get customers the best deals.  Heater repair and installation companies catch heating problems before they affect your life. Difficult to discover by the untrained eye, skilled professionals know the signs and are waiting to help correct poor furnace output.

Weather can take some uniquely cold turns and an added heating element in the home increases comfort, taking the strain off the main furnace. Turn the temperature of the furnace down and sit by a warm gas log fireplace. Heating installation technicians make all necessary connections preparing your new fireplace for your enjoyment.  Fall maintenance heating system checks prepare your home for winter and helps you avoid repair nightmares.