Saddleback Plumbing Heating & Air Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Heating’

What Kind of Heating System Should I Buy in Laguna Hills?

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Here in Laguna Hills, the Fall and Winter nights definitely call for a heating system. We usually need a heater to help cozy up a few cold nights; not necessarily needing the type of system that would act like a final stopgap against constant snow and sleet. That plays a role in the kind of heating system you buy, as well as the ways you can use it to keep your family warm. “What kind of heating system should I buy in Laguna Hills?” you ask. The answer, as always, depends on the individual needs of your household.

A few of the more popular choices are listed below:

  • Central heating system. This is the most popular form of heating in many parts of the country. A system of ductworks carries warm air from a central heater to every corner of your house. These are quite common and easy for technicians to maintain, though they aren’t always as efficient as other units.
  • Heat pumps. Heat pumps combine the features of heaters and air conditioners into a single unit: pulling heat out of your house in the summer and drawing it in from the outside air in the winter. Heat pumps cost more to install, but they tend to be much more efficient than central heaters – saving you money on monthly bills. They’re also very effective in places with mild climates like Orange County.
  • Hydronic systems. Hydronic heating systems work to establish radiant heat: running hot water through tubes in your floor or baseboard that then radiates heat into the home. Like heat pumps, this system is much more efficient than central heaters, but can cost more to set up.

For these kinds of systems, the question becomes whether you’d rather pay more up front for lower energy bills over time, or stick with a more traditional system that costs a less to install. Regardless of what system is right for your home, you can contact the experts at Saddleback Plumbing for help. We can answer the question “What kind of heating system should I buy in Laguna Hills?” then help install the best one for your circumstances. Laguna Hills heating services are a specialty of ours, so don’t hesitate to set up a consultation today!

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Heating FAQ 1: Heating Options

Monday, January 14th, 2013

While Orange County isn’t known for its extreme cold temperatures, if you’ve lived here for a winter you know that there are a few months where a good heating system is critical to your comfort. If you’re looking to install a new heating system, there are a number of considerations to keep in mind. Putting in a new heating system offers homeowners some exciting benefits. But any changes to your home should be thoroughly analyzed so that you have all of the information available to you. Saddleback Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning offers comprehensive heating services in Irvine, CA. We wanted to give our customers some ideas about what they should think about as they move forward with the heating installation process.

Heating Replacement and Installation Benefits in Irvine

To get us started, here is a quick list of some of the benefits to replacing your heating system.

  • Greater efficiency – New furnaces, boilers and heat pumps typically offer a huge efficiency upgrade to homeowners in Irvine.
  • Safety – New furnaces and boilers have some very important safety features on them that old systems may not have.
  • Comfort and reliability – With a new heating system, you will likely receive more reliable and comfortable heat in your home.

Heating Options

One of the first things that you should think about when replacing your heating system is fuel. The gas vs. electric heating debate rages on but at Saddleback, we can work with either fuel source. Depending on where you live, the cost for each fuel could vary wildly. But in general, natural gas is cheaper to buy and with modern technology it is a fairly clean fuel. With electricity, you get more efficiency but it typically costs more to heat your home with those types of heaters.

At Saddleback Plumbing, Air Conditioning and Heating, we can install a variety of different systems. If you have ducts in your home, we can replace your furnace or heat pump very easily. But if you’re interested in going to a radiant heating system, like a hydronic boiler, baseboard or floor system, we can do that too. Radiant heating systems are known to provide very comfortable heat because they actually heat the objects in the room instead of just heating the air.

Water Heating Options in Irvine

Another important heating consideration is replacing your water heater. If you’re tired of taking cold showers, replacing your water heater might make sense. Tankless water heaters are typically great for small households while tank water heaters are preferable for larger households that have large hot water demands. Multiple tankless water heaters are normally required for homes with large demand.

If you have any questions about water heater replacement or heating replacement in Irvine, call Saddleback today. Our friendly and highly trained technicians have experience working on all types and brands of heating systems and water heaters. Call us today.

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Heating Tip 2 : Getting More Efficient Heat with Zone Control

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Are you looking for a more efficient way to heat your Irvine home this winter? At Saddleback Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, we can help you save energy and reduce your heating bills with a few tips and our comprehensive zone control services. Call any time to set up a consultation.

Here’s how to get more efficient heat with zone control.

Zone control systems are designed to heat only certain parts of your home rather than heating your entire home at once. Why heat the attic when you aren’t using it? Also, the closer the temperature indoors is to the outside, the less heat you lose. A cooler attic would prevent the heat that rises from escaping.

You can also design the system to match your needs. For instance, if there are rooms that aren’t used as often, you can close off the dampers in the duct system to prevent the heat from going into that room. Not only can we install the dampers, but we can also install the thermostats for each zone and show you how to use your new system.

Another way to improve efficiency is to upgrade your old dial thermostats to digital ones. A mercury thermostat is not as accurate as a digital one that uses an electronic signal to read the temperatures inside the home. Digital thermostats help lower your utility bills because a more accurate reading prevents the heating system from producing more BTUs than it needs to, which uses more energy.

There are many energy-saving features on digital thermostats, such as programmable and humidity control features, and they can be used on a variety of systems. If you are upgrading to zone control, you’ll need one that matches that system. Call us if you want one of our heating specialists to go over the different models we can install for you.

Call Saddleback Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning for all your Irvine heating needs.

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Radiant Floor Heating Maintenance Tips

Monday, November 26th, 2012

If you have recently upgraded to radiant floor heating in your Lake Forest area home, it is a good idea to know how to operate and maintain them to get the best results. This ensures that your system will continue to provide reliable and efficient heat throughout the winter. Most importantly, you want to make sure you know the best ways to maintain your system since it contains several components.

At Saddleback Heating & Plumbing, we can help you by providing expert advice and tips on heating maintenance. We also provide repairs should you have problems. First, you’ll need to recognize some common issues so that you can provide more information for the technician who will troubleshoot the problem and resolve it for you.

When having problems with a radiant heating system, the best place to start is by checking the thermostat.  Make sure you understand how the settings work and that your system has been programmed for the desired setting.

After making sure that the settings are correct, turn your thermostat up 5 degrees and wait about ten minutes and see if the heat goes up. If so, this could be an indication that your thermostat is not completely accurate and should be adjusted.  Check to see that the boiler is functioning properly and if it doesn’t work, call a technician.

Hiring a professional contractor for routine maintenance is another way to help ensure that your radiant floor system works the way it should. During these visits, the technician will tune your system, which includes checking the pipes and other elements of the actual floor heating components. Ask the technician about other ways you can help protect your radiant floor heating system.

To maintain the boiler components, first check your owner’s manual. All models will be different, and you should know how to check basic things, such as the pressure gauge and safety valves. Checking the water level and temperature are also important maintenance tasks.

Call the Lake Forest heating specialists at Saddleback if you would like more tips on how to maintain your radiant floor heating system.

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Heating Tip 1: Are Your Gas Pipes in Good Shape?

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Natural gas is a popular fuel choice for home heating and cooking. It is affordable, dependable and in large part domestically produced. It is also very safe, generally speaking. It is important that you as a property owner ensure that your gas pipes are in good, safe working condition. In order to do so there are some steps that you will need to take and some warning signs that you should keep an eye out for. Here is some information from Saddleback Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning to keep your Irvine home safe and comfortable when using natural gas.

The first step towards ensuring that your gas pipes are in good shape is to be sure that the installation process is handled only by a qualified profession. If you are having a gas piping system installed for the first time or are scheduling repiping service you need to do your research. Look at testimonials and read online reviews, as well as asking contractors for references directly. Your gas pipes are too important a component of your home plumbing system to take any chances with. Call Saddleback today to learn more about gas pipe installation or to schedule service.

If you already have a gas piping system in your home you need to know what to look for in terms of trouble. While a gas leak may not cause as obvious problems as a leak in your water lines there are plenty of indicators that will tell you your gas pipes are compromised. Because natural gas is colorless and odorless an odor is added to help you identify a leak. This is where the rotten egg smell that so many associate with natural gas comes from. Any unusual sounds from your gas equipment may also indicate a gas leak so it is important that these irregularities are assessed by a professional.

There are also buried gas lines outside that allow natural gas to be piped into your Irvine home. If you see any dirt being blown into the air around this buried pipe or notice bubbling when the ground is wet this gas line may be leaking. Keep an eye out for dead vegetation in the vicinity as well.

When properly used and with a high-quality gas piping system natural gas is a perfectly safe, convenient fuel source. If you have any concerns about the condition that your gas pipes are in call the gas piping experts at Saddleback Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning today. We can help ensure that your home is as safe as it is comfortable with our gas piping installation, maintenance, repair and replacement services.

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When to Call for Heat Pump Service?

Monday, October 29th, 2012

If you’ve invested in a heat pump, you probably did it for the energy savings that they can potentially provide. Heat pumps are wonderful additions to your home because they provide efficient heating and cooling your house. But if you don’t keep up on regular maintenance and repair services, they might start to become costly and inefficient. But how do you know when you need heat pump services at your home in Irvine? We’ve put together a handy list of some of the common problems that heat pumps experience.

No Heat

This is a common experience with heat pumps that we get called to deal with. There are a few common things that can cause your heat pump to fail to produce heat. The first is no power or a broken igniter. The first thing to do is make sure the heat pump is plugged in and that the igniter light is on. Another common culprit of no heat is your thermostat. You should test your thermostat to see if it is actually working correctly. Beyond these things, you should probably call for the services of a Irvine heating technician.

Not Enough Heating or Cooling

Your heat pump uses a series of coils that are filled with a refrigerant to move heat from one place to another. In heating mode, your heat pump collects heat from the outdoors and moves it into your house. In cooling mode, it does the opposite. The refrigerant is what carries the heat from one place to another. If you have too little or too much refrigerant, it can prevent the heat pump from providing enough heating or cooling. You should check the pressure gauge on the heat pump to see if you have enough or too much refrigerant. Low heating and cooling may also be caused by a broken compressor or a dirty filter. All work on the refrigerant, compressor or filters should be done by a trained professional.

Frost on the Heat Pump

There are a few different things that can cause frost to appear on your heat pump. This can sometimes have to do with a defective fan or dirt build up in the evaporator coils. It can also be from a broken compressor. All of these repairs should only be attempted by a certified professional. If you attempt to do this yourself you could risk damaging your system permanently.

If you need heat pump repair services at your home in Irvine, then call Saddleback immediately. We are proud to offer complete heat pump repair services in Irvine and can get your system working correctly quickly.

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Lake Forest Heating FAQ: How Do Hydronic Baseboards Work?

Monday, October 15th, 2012

At Saddleback Plumbing, Heating, & Air Conditioning, we often get questions about the benefits of hydronic baseboard heating systems in Lake Forest, and how these systems work. Here’s a basic rundown of how hydronic boiler systems work and what the benefits are with installing a baseboard distribution system.

Hydronic baseboard heating systems work in much the same way as radiant floor heating systems work. However, instead of an in-floor installation, the baseboards are installed near the floor against a wall, which provides more efficient heat than traditional radiators since the heat will rise from the baseboard to more evenly heat the entire room. They also tend to be more efficient than forced air systems, which distribute the heat through ductwork and a series of vents.

The heat source is usually a high-efficiency gas or electric boiler that heats the water going into the boiler. After the water is heated, the hot water is sent to an “air eliminator” that removes bubbles from the water, which prepares it for the expansion tank. The expansion tank helps to maintain pressure as the water is heated and expands and contracts. As the water leaves the tank, it passes through a pressure relief valve to ensure proper pressure levels. Then the water travels through a flange valve located next to the pump that is adequately sized for the entire system.

After this process, the water flows to the heated side of the distribution manifold where it is then sent to the pipes inside the baseboard covers located throughout the home. Then, any water that has been cooled by heating the home is sent back to the boiler through the cooler side of the distribution manifold. A second temperature pressure gauge is located just outside the boiler on the cold side of the manifold, and the entire system is controlled by thermostats that control the boiler and pumps to ensure that the right amount of heat is distributed throughout the system.

Hydronic baseboard heating systems are a quiet, safe, and clean way to heat your home. However, they do require routine maintenance to ensure a safe operation. Call the Lake Forest heating experts at Saddleback Plumbing if you have questions or would like to discuss our installation options.

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Why Install a Hydronic Floor Heating System in Orange County

Monday, October 1st, 2012

One of the hottest additions to Orange County home heating in recent years is the hydronic floor heating system – a combination of classic hydronic boiler technology and carefully design work that can actually have heat radiating out of the floorboards in your home. Here are a few reasons why you might consider having such a system installed and the specific benefits they offer.

First, There’s Comfort

Imagine stepping out of bed on a chilly winter morning and putting your feet down on toasty warm tiles or wood flooring. Instead of the ice cold of most flooring materials that either forces you to wear socks perpetually or put down heavy, pricey rugs, a hydronic floor heating system ensures that your home is always warm, no matter where you step.

Supplemental Heating

A radiant floor heating system offers a supplement to your standard heating system. This reduces the workload on your other heating systems and ensures that you remain comfortable even when the others are off or turned down, saving you money. You can also switch to an all hydronic system and gain a number of additional benefits.

Even, Efficient Heating Distribution

A system that consists only of hydronic floor heating ensures even heating throughout your home – no cold or hot spots. Additionally, the system will operate less often as heat radiates slowly from the water pipes, rising from the ground to provide ample, even heating all day.

A good radiant floor heating system is a good fit in many types of Orange County homes and even in some businesses. How it will fit into your current heating system, the impact it will have on your budget and where it can be best installed in your home will depend on a number of other factors, so make sure you contact a professional if you are interested in learning more about what options are available to you.

For more information regarding floor heating options for your Orange County home’s heating system, contact Saddleback Plumbing, Heating & Air today!

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Silverado Heat Pump Repair Guide: How to Handle Your Finicky Heat Pump

Friday, January 27th, 2012

A heat pump is designed to keep your Silverado home comfortable. Warm weather, cold weather – it doesn’t matter. It should turn on when you need it and turn off when you don’t. So, when the device starts turning on and off without reason or when you need it to stay on, what exactly is the problem and how can you fix that problem without losing the heating or cooling capacity of your device.

Common Causes of the Problem

There are a number of reasons why your heat pump would turn off shortly after turning on, and most of the time this occurs in heating mode. If it occurs in cooling mode, you should have the device inspected immediately because there is likely something wrong with a core component like the compressor. For heating mode issues, here are some common problems:

  • Dirty Coils – If the coils are dirty, the device won’t be able to properly operate, especially if it has been some time since the last cleaning. Both sets of coils need to be cleaned at least once a year to avoid this becoming a problem.
  • Low Refrigerant Charge – If the refrigerant gets low, you’ll need to have it recharged because the pressure in the device will drop and it will therefore turn off after a few minutes of use.
  • Defrost Timer – If the defrost timer is forcing the device into a defrost cycle too often (usually it is set to 30, 60, or 90 minutes), the fan might turn off every few minutes after turning on. This is a common problem and is usually due to a thermostat or switch issue which can be fixed relatively easily.

Another thing to ask yourself when this problem occurs is whether the device is heating properly when on. Defrost timer issues don’t usually impinge on the heating ability of the device, while low refrigerant can. You want to make sure the device is working properly when on and not just cycling on and off without heating capacity.

Based on what you find, you’ll need a technician to take a closer look and ensure everything is working properly. Most repairs for this type of problem are relatively simple.

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Signs of an Undersized Furnace

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

If you’re purchasing a new furnace for your Santa Ana home, you want to avoid buying one that is undersized for your particular space. To do that, here are some common signs that the furnace isn’t powerful enough for the heating needs of your home. These signs might appear for an older furnace as well, especially as it ages and loses its ability to provide adequate heat for your home.

Maintaining Temperature

The most common (and in many cases only) sign that your furnace is undersized is that the device simply doesn’t maintain the temperature in your home properly. This means that when turned on to full and left for a few hours, your furnace doesn’t heat your home to the thermostat setting.

This can be due to an improper load calculation or a load calculation that wasn’t taken at all. The perfectly sized furnace will heat your home evenly on the coldest day your area is likely to have. So, undersizing should be pretty evident – if it doesn’t heat your home evenly and it’s not exceptionally cold outside, you might not have enough BTUs under the hood.

How to Fix the Problem

The problem is one that varies depending on the severity of the undersizing. Modern furnaces are often available with two stages, meaning they can operate at both a low BTU rating (often around 40K or so) and a higher BTU rating (70K or higher). This is the perfect solution for homeowners worried about undersizing because it ensures that your home always has enough heat in reserve should the weather get exceptionally cold.

For example, most furnaces are sized for extremely low temperatures, but if the temperature jumps up to 50 degrees F outside, your furnace is now oversized for that weather. A two stage furnace offers solutions for both common conditions and extreme conditions and will resolve most of the concern you have about undersizing and not having enough heat to offset outdoor temperatures.

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