Winterizing Your Tankless Water Heater

481723049With winter always comes the opportunity for things to freeze up. One of the last things you want to have freeze up on you is your tankless water heater. Fortunately they have been designed to take on even the worst winter weather. That doesn’t mean they can be totally neglected while winter is wreaking havoc on the temps. Here are a few ways to winterize tankless water heaters that can help to ensure you have warm water all winter long –

Check the Gas

Anytime your gas appliances need more gas than the meter size can handle, you could experience an insufficient supply of fuel that can and will hinder performance. If you see that your meter capacity comes to less than what your total household Btuh load is, then you need to contact the gas company.

Insulation on External Pipes

While a tankless unit does contain freeze-prevention heaters there are still hot-and-cold-water lines that lead from both to and from your heater. These plumbing lines need to be protected as well. If you do experience freezing, this is where it happens. You want to protect those pipes with insulation, even if it’s something as easy and simple as using aluminum foil.

Check Your Venting

When the weather reaches extreme cold temps, back draft coming into the vents on your unit can become problematic. To avoid this try running your vent vertically rather than horizontally.

Keep The Power On

The freeze prevention heaters on your tankless water heater needs electricity to operate. You never want to unplug or disconnect the power and stop the flow of electricity to your unit in the winter time. You should actually thing about purchasing a backup generator in case your power ever does go out.

Water Flow

You have much less of a chance for your pipes to freeze when there is water flowing through the them. If you are on a re-circulation plumbing system, let it run frequently during cold winter months. Of course that will cost you more on your energy bill but it’s better than being without warm water. If you’re not on a re-circulation system, then let your faucet drip a little to prevent freezing.

Keep The Unit in an Area That is Warm

If you live where the temps can get really low, then try to place your unit in a place that is fairly warm. It will lower the risk of your unit freezing over.

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What It Means To Be A Bryant Factory Authorized Dealer

Consumers throughout the country can access the highest quality HVAC products and services through Bryant factory authorized dealers. Less than 5 percent of HVAC dealers and contractors in the country hold the prestigious title of being a Bryant factory authorized dealer. This is because Bryant Corporation requires businesses to adhere to the highest standards of customer service and satisfaction. Authorized dealers must be able to offer 100% satisfaction guarantee and honor warranties. Once approved, factory-authorized dealers can use the Medal of Excellence on their website and promotional material.

 

What to Expect from Factory-Authorized Dealers

Consumers can expect the following products and services from any Bryant factory authorized dealer:

  • Factory-authorized parts
  • All types of heating and cooling services ranging from furnace installation to air conditioner repair
  • NATE (North American Technician Excellence) certified technicians
  • Extended warranties for Bryant products
  • Cutting edge HVAC technologies and techniques as well as business practices achieved through ongoing training offered by Bryant Corporation
  • Protection from liabilities since factory-authorized dealers are licensed, insured and bonded
  • 100% customer satisfaction guarantee

 

Qualities of Factory-Authorized Dealer

Transparent – Bryant factory authorized dealers have a transparent billing structure. This means you can expect them to give you a detailed breakdown of costs and work with you to ensure the project is within your budget.

Expertise – Authorized dealers are either vendors of Bryant HVAC equipment or contractors with technicians who have been trained at the Bryant Corporation factory on how to design, install, maintain and repair HVAC systems manufactured by the company. Therefore, you will benefit from the expertise of factory-trained technicians who will get the job done right the first time.

Award-Winning Customer Service – If there is one thing that dealers and contractors must prove before they can be awarded the title – Bryant Factory Authorized Dealer – it’s their ability to provide excellent customer service.

If value for money is what you are looking for, you may want to find a dealer or HVAC company with the Medal of Excellence displayed on their website. Follow us for more articles that your HVAC systems running comfortable and efficiently.

What Are The Different Kinds Of Air Conditioning Systems?

There are many times of air conditioning systems designed to serve the same purpose — to cool the air inside of a house or a room. These systems differ not in their functioning but the scale on while they supply conditioned air and the area they serve.

Some Air Conditioner Types:

  • Window air conditioners

These units are installed in the windows and hence the name. The unit consists of a single housing containing all the components required for the working of the system. The inner part of the air conditioner blows cool air while the outer exposed part flushes warm air to the exterior.

  • Portable air conditioners

These units are used in places where window air conditioners and other types of units cannot be used. These units are usually placed on the floor of the room in a corner. A hose is installed with these units which discharges hot air to the outside of the room. These units are also used in conjunction with other air conditioners when there is need of an additional air conditioner to keep the room temperature in favorable range.

  • Split air conditioners

When the component of air conditioning unit is placed both inside and outside of a room, it is called a split air conditioner. In this type of the unit, the evaporator (blows cool air inside of the room) is placed on the inner wall of the room while the compressor and other component are installed on the outside wall or the roof. These two components on the inner and outer side of the room are connected by a duct and a hose to supply cool air.

  • Central air conditioners

These types of units are installed where there are multiple rooms. Various ducts are planted all through the building or the home — supplying fresh and cool air. With this single unit, you can control the temperature of air across your entire house without the need of an individual unit for every room.

If you are looking for help with choosing the best air conditioner for your home or office, you may call us for professional support and recommendation.

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.

Energy Efficient Products Can Help Save Money In Winter

When winter temperatures fall well below freezing, many homeowners begin to worry about how high their heating bills will be. What most people don’t realize, however, is that little things can go a long way when trying to save a few extra dollars when it’s cold outside. Here are some valuable energy savings tips for winter that that will save money during colder weather, but can also result in energy savings when the weather is warmer.

Turn It Down
Heating systems typically account for about 40% of energy usage in winter. Set your thermostat at 68 degrees or lower, if possible. For every degree above 68°F, your furnace will use 3% to 5% more energy for each degree above that benchmark. Set the thermostat to 56°F when you’re out. By reducing home temperature 10°F to 15°F for an average of eight hours, you can save as much as 15% on heating costs.

Laundry Savings
When doing wash, put clothes in cold water to save about $30 per year in annual energy costs if you have a gas water heater. If your washer is over 10 years old, buy a more efficient ENERGY STAR® model that can save energy. Clean the lint trap every time you put a load in to dry. By doing so, you’ll save about the same amount in gas costs. Similarly, don’t over dry your clothes. Let your dryer’s moisture sensor detect when clothes are dry to determine shut off.

Replace Old Windows
Today’s ENERGY STAR®-rated windows keep out cold and keep in heat much more efficiently than windows made 20 years ago. Even if you can’t replace all at once, consider replacing those in your draftiest areas. New windows can reduce heating and cooling costs by 15%. At the same time, take a look at your home’s insulation. Properly sealed and insulated attics, walls, crawl spaces and basement rim joists can provide a 10% annual savings.

Check Your Heating System
Even if its running properly, considering replacing your furnace if it’s more than 10 years old to take advantage of more energy efficient models. At the same time, have an HVAC contractor look for leaks in ducts to minimize heat loss.

Check back with us often for more HVAC and energy savings tips.

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.

Efficiency Standards For HVAC Equipment: Are They Going Up Soon?

The national energy strategy is a hot topic of conversation these days, and home HVAC occupies a reasonable spot in the limelight. Half of the energy used by residential buildings goes to heating and cooling; therefore, the Department of Energy pays careful attention to heating, ventilation and air conditioning efficiency standards. Unfortunately, raising the standards is not as simple as it sounds.

Back in 2011, the DOE made the decision to improve the HVAC efficiency standards by May 2013. The new standards would have raised the current minimum AFUE standard of 78 to 90% efficiency. AFUE means annual fuel utilization efficiency. An AFUE rating of 78 means that the unit wastes 22% of the fuel it uses while a unit with AFUE rating of 90 wastes only 10% of the fuel it uses.

Before the effective date of implementation, various stakeholders challenged the rule, stating that the new efficiency standards for boilers and furnaces would be too costly for many homeowners. Replacing a standard furnace with a condensing furnace with a rating of 90 AFUE is not as straightforward as switching out the dishwasher or refrigerator. A high–efficiency condensing furnace requires a different venting system, which could force the homeowner to abandon or reconstruct the existing venting system to accommodate the new furnace.

Due to a court order, the Department of Energy had to postpone the implementation of the new HVAC efficiency standards, and it could take years until a new ruling goes into effect. As it stands, there have been very few changes to the heating and cooling efficiency requirements since 1992, which is when the Department of Energy set the minimum AFUE rating at 78. In 2007, the Department of Energy proposed raising the minimum AFUE to 80; however, this proposal had little meaning since nearly all modern furnaces already meet that standard.

From the perspective of an energy conservationist, the delay in the implementation of the proposed efficiency standards is regrettable, since keeping the standards low is causing more pollution and waste. On the other hand, one can always make an individual decision to invest in high–efficiency HVAC systems to enjoy greater comfort, energy savings, and lower carbon footprint.

Homeowners should call their local HVAC contractors for questions about HVAC efficiency standards and services.