How Do Water Heaters Work?

You probably only think about your water heater when there’s a problem, such as only cold water coming out of a faucet. There are four types of them used in homes. Tank Water Heater This is the most common type of water heater. It’s a large, round tank of water usually found in a garage or laundry room. Tank water heaters use either electricity or gas to heat the water in the tank. The tank is insulated, which slows the amount of heat lost. The tank is heated on the bottom and warm water naturally moves to the top. There are electrical elements inside the tank and a pressure-relief valve on the outside in case there’s too much water pressure. Tankless Water Heater As the name implies, these water heaters don’t have a tank. Instead, they heat water only when it’s needed. When a hot-water tap is opened, cold water flows into it and it’s heated with electricity or gas. The hot water then flows to the tap. Once you turn off the tap, the tankless water heater shuts down. They are very energy efficient. of Eureka, CA, installs, and repairs water heaters. We sell Noritz brand tankless water heaters...

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How to Tell If You Have a High-Efficiency Furnace

Your home’s heating system uses a significant amount of energy each year. Ensuring that your furnace is working as efficiently as possible can help to keep your energy bills in check during the fall and winter seasons. How can you tell if the furnace in your house is a high-efficiency product? What’s the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency Number? The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) number tells you how much energy a furnace is able to turn into heat. For example, if a heater is able to turn 100 units of gas into 70 units of heat, it would have an AFUE rating of 70%. All furnaces manufactured and sold in the United States must have a minimum efficiency score of 81%. You can usually find the energy efficiency rating for your unit on the item itself or in the owner manual that comes with it. Does It Have an ENERGY STAR Label? Any product that meets the Department of Energy (DOE) efficiency requirements will be labeled as such. To qualify as an ENERGY STAR product, it would need to have an AFUE rating of at least 90%. Make Sure to Stick to a Regular Maintenance Schedule Clogged air filters, broken...

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All About Today’s Fantastic Furnace Systems

Today’s furnaces are a staple in so many homes and businesses across the globe. These awesome pieces of machinery heat entire structures and can do so automatically, without the need for much human involvement. For more on these popular heating systems, read on. How They Work Furnaces work by generating heat inside of a compartment and then distributing that heat throughout the home using a fan and ductwork. Typically, these systems make their heat with the use of electrical resistance or the combustion of a gas such as natural gas or propane. In addition, furnaces include numerous mechanisms that monitor temperature, flame, fan speed, and other functions for safety and operational purposes. The resulting mix of components is an awesome system that has been used for more than two centuries. The History of Modern Furnaces Interestingly enough, the first known furnace heating system was erected in the Massachusetts Medical College in 1816. This system utilized a furnace in the building’s basement that connected to ductwork that ran throughout the rest of the building for heat distribution. This was actually a gravity-hot air system that would be subsequently developed further into a more recognizable semblance of our furnaces today in 1835...

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Why Air Filters are Important for Your Heating System

The Importance of Air Filters to Your Heating System Whether you own a heat pump or furnace, your heating system comes with a crucial component called the air filter. Located in the return vent, it has the job of capturing pollutants like dust, lint, pet dander, and mold spores. Why are filters important? The answer can be laid out as follows. They Protect the Heating Components The primary purpose of filters is to keep the above-mentioned pollutants from gathering inside the furnace or, in the case of heat pumps, the air handler. A dirty system is an inefficient one. For instance, you don’t want dust and dirt all over the furnace blades and burners. Dirty burners will prevent the heat exchanger from heating up to its full capacity, causing the furnace to run longer to reach your set point. In fact, it may never reach the set point as the air will be largely lukewarm. As for dirty blades, these will work harder to spin. In both cases, the results will be more wear and tear and higher energy bills. They Keep the Indoor Air Clean Contrary to popular belief, filters are only secondarily meant to clean the air. Naturally,...

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4 Major Indoor Air Pollutants

When you think of pollution, the first thing that likely comes to mind is big factories releasing smelly fumes into the atmosphere. Although outdoor pollution is harmful, indoor pollution can be just as bad. Learning about indoor pollution will help you to keep your family safe. Here are the four main indoor air pollutants. 1. Carbon Monoxide Carbon monoxide is odorless and invisible. The gas is a result of incomplete burning of fossil fuels. When inhaled, carbon monoxide reduces the intake of oxygen in the body. As a result, you will experience nausea, headache, confusion, and tiredness. A high concentration of carbon monoxide could lead to death. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, ensure appliances such as heaters are correctly installed. 2. Mold Mold is a type of fungi that grows both indoors and outside. Although there are harmless varieties of mold, some types are harmful. Mold contains allergens that can trigger allergic reactions in some people. Allergic people can suffer from eye and throat irritation, coughing, swelling, skin irritation, and headaches. Severe reactions can lead to difficulty breathing. In other cases, molds can prompt asthma attacks. The key to fighting mold is reducing the moisture and humidity levels in your...

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How To Care For Your Lawn Around an Outdoor AC Unit

If your home has an outdoor condenser unit, it is important that you have easy access to it at all times. This may mean that you don’t plant trees, shrubs or other flowering plants in its generally vicinity. Let’s take a look at some other steps that you may want to take to ensure that your lawn and your air conditioner can peacefully coexist. Make Sure to Mow Your Grass Regularly Tall grass can be an excellent place for mice, rats and other critters to hide, and eventually, they may decide to migrate from the grass into the condenser unit itself. Grass is also a preferred snack for a variety of insects and other pests that might also want to call this component home. Don’t Plant Too Close to the Condenser The best reason not to plant tall trees or bushes near an AC unit is that it can interfere with your ability to maintain it. By planting too close to a condenser unit, vines or roots could grow into it, and this may cause significant damage to internal parts. If your air conditioner isn’t working for any reason, call the folks at in Eureka, CA, for help. One of...

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Strange AC Noises and What They Mean

There are some noises that you normally would expect to hear when your air conditioning is running. However, if you hear any of the following four sounds, it is time to hire a professional AC repair service. Squealing If you hear a squealing sound coming from your indoor AC unit, it could be its fan belt. This is a common problem that is caused when the belt becomes worn or is misaligned. The sound could be intermittent or more noticeable when temperatures or humidity levels change, which causes the belt to expand or contract. You can continue using your cooling system, but you should schedule a repair because the belt will eventually break. High-Pitched Scream or Hiss If you hear a high-pitched scream or hiss coming from your AC’s condenser outdoors, it could be that pressure has built up in the compressor. Your air conditioner may turn itself on and off frequently. In this case, you should turn off your system and schedule a repair because this could be a dangerous condition. Clanking or Banging If you hear clanking or banging noises coming from your outdoor unit, it could be as simple as a small tree branch having fallen into...

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Air Purifiers vs Air Filters

Do you want to improve the quality of the air you breathe inside your home? The air flowing through the rooms of your home can be filled with contaminants. Adding certain types of equipment can reduce and remove these substances. What Are Air Filters? The term “air filter” has several meanings. The most common meaning refers to the removable filter found in all cooling and heating systems. These filters work to block impurities and allergens from entering your home. Replacing this filter regularly is an important part of maintaining your equipment. “Air filter” is also another way of describing an air cleaner. Air cleaners, such as HEPA air cleaners, are filtration systems that act as an additional layer of protection. They can help remove pet hair, large dust particles and debris floating in your air. What Are Air Purifiers? Air purifiers are designed to purify the air by killing airborne substances that can make people sick or irritate allergies. An air purifier is an air sanitizer. Some models use heat to accomplish this. Others use ozone, UV light or negative ions to do the job. can help you add an air purification system to your existing temperature control system in...

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How to Change a Thermostat Battery

Having a dead or dying thermostat battery can be a frustrating situation, causing your HVAC system to function intermittently or even become unresponsive. Worse still, modern “smart” thermostats often require battery replacement much more often than their analog ancestors. Luckily, the vast majority of thermostat batteries are simple to replace and an excellent job for the intrepid DIY fan. Determine the Model of Your Thermostat Thermostats come in all shapes and sizes, and there are more being created each day. Thus, it is impossible to know which style of battery each one uses. The quickest way to determine the requirements for your thermostat is to research the specific model. Typically, the front of your thermostat will list the manufacturer and the model of your unit. A quick search on your favorite search engine will help determine the specific battery type and procedure to replace the battery. Order the Battery It is very common for thermostat batteries to be a non-standard size. Whether they use doorbell batteries or watch batteries, a thermostat will likely require something a bit more exotic than the AA’s you have in the kitchen junk drawer. Therefore, it is best to plan ahead when you suspect your...

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Indoor Air Quality and Academic Performance

While education facilities exist to motivate, engage and promote learning, many schools and universities across the nation still suffer from poor indoor air quality. A large range of building conditions such as water damage, lack of humidity control and poor ventilation can increase the likelihood of bad IAQ. Indoor pollutants like allergens, mold, mildew and volatile organic compounds can put students at risk for a variety of ailments, which could have an adverse on academic performance. The following are just two ways poor indoor air quality can hurt long-term academic performance. 1. Absenteeism Polluted air can contribute to uncomfortable learning environments for both teachers and students. When indoor air quality is less-than-ideal, individuals can experience symptoms like congestion, coughing, watery eyes, severe allergies, dizziness, nausea and headaches. Over time, symptoms like these can cause unnecessary absenteeism. 2. Decreased Academic Performance Indoor air pollution may be a contributing factor to decreased academic performance, especially when levels fall below U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidelines. When students are regularly exposed to indoor air toxins, their ability to concentrate and retain information may significantly diminish. What Facilities Can Do to Improve Indoor Air Quality Creating a healthy learning environment that encourages academic performance and...

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