What Are Gas Central Heating Systems?
- Saturday, 05 March 2016 00:00
While living in Minnesota, I have learned that winters are unbearably cold. Temperatures can drop below zero, and as a result, it is necessary to have a gas central heating system in St. Paul. There are many kinds of heating systems to choose from including gas and central heating systems. Heating systems are complicated systems, and because there are so many different kinds, it takes hours of research to learn about how they work. Many people are aware of how a central heating system works, but many are unfamiliar with how a gas system works. Read more to learn about the different types of gas systems that are available to determine which is best to input into a new or existing home.
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What Would Bill Nye Say about Home Heating on Vacation?
- Wednesday, 03 February 2016 00:00
Winter is here in Minnesota and it is freezing. Winter in Minnesota also means vacations, either to visit family for the holidays or to seek sunshine and respite from the cold. Winter vacations raise the inevitable, and much-debated, question: should we turn the heat off when we leave town? Proponents insist that turning off the heat saves money and energy. Detractors say that turning off the heat puts your home at risk for freezing pipes and that any energy savings from not running the heat are eaten away by the costs of reheating a cold home. Is it possible to answer this question definitively and end the argument? Yes. Here you have it:
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4 Reasons to Consult a Heating Professional before Winter
- Tuesday, 10 November 2015 08:43
As we all know, Minneapolis winters can be brutal, so few people can afford to be left without a properly running heating system when winter sets in. That’s why it’s important to have your furnace checked by heating professionals before your heating system is a necessity in case you do need furnace repair in Minneapolis. In addition to the peace of mind that comes from being more prepared for winter, there are 4 reasons why you should call heating professionals to check your furnace today.
Evaluating Need for Repairs
The most obvious reason to have your furnace checked before winter comes is to make sure the furnace is running properly and isn’t already in need of repairs. Even if you do a test run with your furnace and all seems to be running well, it’s a good idea to have a professional inspect it for potential problems that could result in emergency repairs when you really need your furnace.
Having your furnace inspected before winter also reduces the chances of safety hazards from carbon monoxide or gas leaks. This inspection will confirm that there are no leaks so that you and your family are safe from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Not only can being without heat in the bitter cold be dangerous, but it’s incredibly inconvenient as well. Although not all emergency repairs can be avoided, having an inspection early on increases the chances that small problems are detected so that larger problems can be avoided when you need your furnace most. Winter is a busy time for heating companies, and it may be difficult to have a technician come to your home right away during the busy winter months.
You can save money not only by getting small furnace repairs before they become serious, but on your overall heating bill throughout the winter as well. Regular furnace inspections ensure that the furnace runs as efficiently as possible so that you don’t waste money on fuel consumption.
Gas Furnace Versus Electric Furnace
- Wednesday, 27 August 2014 18:03
Modern furnaces are built to maximize comfort and energy savings over an extended service life. However, all heating appliances eventually need to be replaced due to age or obsolescence. Significant gains in efficiency and improvements in safety features offer consumers compelling reasons to replace old furnace models.
In many cases, furnace selection is largely dependent on fuel availability. Natural gas is the most popular fuel, but the required piping infrastructure is not available in all areas of the country. In these instances, homeowners are limited to propane, fuel oil or electric furnaces. Both oil and propane require fuel storage tanks that are expensive to install and maintain. For those looking to minimize upfront costs, an electric furnace may be an attractive alternative.
Electric Furnace Pros and Cons
The primary benefit of an electric furnace is its low purchase price. Electric heating technology is relatively simple and includes tightly wound coils that are positioned directly inside the air handler cabinet. The coils operate in a manner that is similar to the kind used in toasters and hair dryers. Electric resistance current generates heat that is forced through the ductwork by a blower fan. The coils are relatively inexpensive compared to the burners, ignition system and heat exchanger components in a gas furnace. Consumers should expect to spend 25-50 percent less on an electric furnace than a comparable gas model.
The installation process for an electric unit is far less complicated since gas lines and vent pipe are not required. This helps reduce the disruption that is often caused during a retrofit application.
Electric furnaces operate very quietly and have a longer service life than gas units. Once again, this is primarily due to the relative simplicity of the design. In general, an electric furnace should last between 20-30 years while the average gas furnace has a design life of 15-20 years.
Maintenance on an electric heating system is minimal and straightforward. Electric heaters also are safer to operate than their gas counterparts since there is no fuel involved in the burn process. This eliminates the chance of accidental exposure to carbon monoxide and other waste gas byproducts.
With so many advantages, many people wonder why gas furnaces are more popular than electric appliances. The main issue with owning an electric furnace is cost of operation, which is a significant shortcoming.
Gas Furnace Pros and Cons
In contrast to an electric furnace, gas models cost less to run. Natural gas is a much cheaper source of energy than electricity, and the cost per therm for natural gas has actually declined over the past few years. Gas heating appliances also tend to heat the building more quickly than the electric resistance method because the combustion chamber inside a gas unit reaches much higher temperatures. This gives gas furnaces a decided advantage in areas that experience especially severe winter temperatures.
Since gas furnaces incorporate a variety of complex components, they are more expensive to purchase and install. Maintenance must be performed regularly by a trained HVAC professional to ensure the unit is operating properly. A cracked heat exchanger or compromised venting can create a dangerous safety hazard if not addressed promptly.
Operating Cost Comparison
In terms of installed costs, noise levels and durability, electric furnaces have an advantage over gas models. However, the considerable difference in operating costs makes gas furnaces the choice of the majority of homeowners.
Comparing an electric furnace that is 100 percent efficient with a gas furnace that is 80 percent efficient quantifies the enormous disparity in utility expenses. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) found the average cost of residential electricity was 11.7 cents per kilowatt hour in 2012. Gas was $1.01 per therm for the same period. Using those figures, the cost of generating one million BTUs of heat would be $34.32 for electric and $12.96 for gas. In essence, gas costs 62 percent less than electricity while producing the same amount of heat.
A Matter of Preference
Both gas and electric furnaces offer a variety of benefits depending on the application. To compare different furnace technologies and efficiencies, contact a qualified HVAC professional.
3 Tips for Maintaining the Central Heating System
- Wednesday, 19 June 2013 21:49
If you want to make certain the central heating system is able to run as efficiently as possible, a regular check-up and service from a reputable plumbing and heating service is likely to be highly desirable. By taking the necessary action to make sure the pipes and radiators are free and clear of blockages, the entire central heating system is able to operate much more efficiently, which will not only be more effective at providing the desired heat, but will also cut the utility bills. Here are several steps that can be followed to make sure the central heating is able to run as efficiently as possible:
Protect the External Condensation Pipe
If you want to make certain a boiler isn’t likely to start to struggle to run in the freezing temperatures, you really want to take the necessary action to protect the condensation pipe. If you do experience an issue with this pipe freezing in the winter you might want to take the necessary proactive action to prevent any future issues. In most cases it is quite simple to protect the condensation pipe by wrapping old rags or towels around it. Alternatively, you might wish to invest in some of the dedicated foam pipe insulation available at the nearest DIY store.
Turning Up the Thermostat on the Boiler
If you are experiencing a very cold snap you might want to consider turning the boiler thermostat to a higher rating. This isn’t referring to the regular thermostat found on the wall of a main room. Instead this relates to the thermostat that is featured on the actual boiler. After the temperature has recovered to the more acceptable levels, you can of course change the setting on the thermostat to the normal rating.
Getting the Boiler Serviced Regularly
One of the most efficient steps that can be taken to make sure the boiler is able to run efficiently is to have in place a regular schedule for having it serviced. In most situations a boiler is likely to break down due to a common fault which would normally be detected at the time of a service. If you can service the boiler every 12 months or so, there is a greater chance that you are able to eliminate the occurrence of the minor faults.
All in all, if you really want to make certain the central heating system is maintained to a high standard, you need to ensure the ideal level of maintenance is put in place at all times.
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