Author: steve

Published: 4 articles

Why Use a Solar Heater for Your Pool

residential-pool-solar-heating

The use of solar heaters in residential applications including pool heating has grown tremendously. This is because solar heating is way cheaper compared to the traditional sources of heating such as electricity, gas and oils. Families have been able to extend their pool seasons which means more time to enjoy and bond with family. If you are looking for an efficient and much easier way to heat your pool then a solar heater can be the best option for you. Below are some of the reasons why choosing a solar heater can never be a mistake for homeowners.

Extends the Swimming Season

On average, homeowners use their pools for 3 or 4 months in the entire year simply because the rest of the time, the water is too cold for swimming. Installing a solar heater can extend that season for a few months or even more thus giving you ample time to enjoy your pool.

Saves on Energy

When you use solar energy to heat your swimming pool, you are in essence avoiding the costly heating alternatives led by electricity and oil. According to Energy.gov, installing a solar pool heater can cost you anything between $3,000 and $4,000. Though this amount looks huge, it eventually pays itself in about 2 to 7 years.

Eco-Friendliness

Saving the environment is a collective responsibility and every person is meant to contribute his or her fair share into reducing their carbon footprint. Solar is indisputably the cleanest form of energy because it neither uses natural resources nor produces harmful emissions. To further reduce energy use, you should cover your pool using a solar blanket that prevents heat loss.

Minimal Maintenance

Maintenance of pool heaters as well as the other types of heating systems can be quite costly. This is because lots of these systems work extra hard to generate heat with lots of motors and other moving objects within them. Some of them even have fans to blow away and distribute the heat to the respective areas as well as cool the heating elements. Solar heaters do not have any of that and this has made them to have a longer lifespan of between 20and 30 years. This is way longer than the conventional heating systems which last between 15 and 20 years.

Quiet Operation

Having heaters humming at the background can interfere with your quality time whether you are studying or having a chat with colleagues. If you want silent or quieter heaters, you have to pay a premium for them. Solar pool heaters stand out in terms of their quiet operation. They have no loud hums and can let you relax in the water.

If you are thinking of installing a solar pool heater to benefit from the above and many more goodies, contacting a qualified pool and spa professional is the best approach.

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The Impact of a Two-Stage Furnace on Energy Bills

two-stage furnace

When people hear of winter, they almost always think of the extra layers of clothing they have to wear, the shivering inside their homes and the costs involved in keeping HVAC systems running. Rarely does it cross the minds of these homeowners that you can save on energy bills even as you heat your home for comfort. One of the easiest ways though costly at the beginning is upgrading your heating and air conditioning system to a two-stage furnace.

The furnace has the advantage of adjusting its heat output so that it can optimize your indoor comfort which in turn offers huge energy savings. In places like Florida where it becomes unbelievably cold at times, investing in a two-stage furnace can give you a quick payoff.

The Inefficiency of Standard Furnaces

A majority of the standard or conventional furnaces deliver efficiency levels in the region of 80% annual fuel utilization efficiency. This efficiency level ill compares to the almost 98.5% range that is delivered by two-stage furnaces. Annual fuel utilization efficiency is a methodology used by manufacturers to help them estimate the fuel consumption and operating efficiency these systems are able to attain over one heating season.

Most standard heaters are much less inefficient compared to two-stage models because of the burners they use. Whenever you run a standard furnace, the gas valve opens at high thus making the burner or flame to be fully loaded. Once the temperature of your home aligns with that of the thermostat setting, the furnace shuts off.

Efficiency of Two-stage Heating Systems

High efficiency heaters use burners that have a two-stage system. Instead of the high/off or on/off operation, the two-stage heating system can operate the burner at both low-stage of heating and at high stage of heating. Many two-stage furnaces run at the lower heating stage for close to 90% of the day. This means the energy utilized in sustaining these heaters is much lower and this can save you big on energy consumption.

The Impact of Variable Speed Blowers to Energy Savings

The two-stage furnaces also come with variable speed furnace blowers. These blowers make use of a fan to push the heated air from the burner through the ductwork and ultimately into your home. These blowers adjust the speed of the fan so as to deliver the right amount of heat and in the process use less electricity to power them.

In colder climates, homeowners can benefit immensely from investing in two-stage furnaces because their operational efficiency will help them attain a much higher level of comfort and lower energy bills compared to standard furnaces.

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Top HVAC Trends in 2016 by Industry Insiders

trendsAccording to the innovations and the sweeping change of technologies blowing through the HVAC industry, 2016 is bound to be an exciting year in home heating and cooling. The year started well with the AHR Expo which showcased a number of equipment and technologies in both residential and commercial HVAC. Since then, newer products and trends have been emerging including updates on how the Internet of Things will impact communication between HVAC equipment.

Customers are increasing their demands in light of these technological changes and contractors have been forced to go the extra mile to meet these needs. Following a thorough online and offline research, homeowners should be watching out at some of the following trends in the industry.

Smarter HVAC

The smart technology is making serious advances into the HVAC industry with gadgets such as smart thermostat, smart equipment integration and the Internet of Things technology which allows contractors to automate their service processes thereby ensuring your equipment as the homeowner are well taken care of and constantly monitored.

Aside from the machines and controls getting smarter, smart technology is taking the center stage in 2016 as both manufacturers and homeowners’ battle for efficiency. There are lots of data points than ever before thereby allowing better measurement through big data and analytics.

The Rise of Connected and Multifaceted Software

Both homeowners and contractors are always on the lookout for easy to use and one stop shop software solutions that make it much easier to deliver indoor comfort. To help plug this gap in demand, more enterprise mobile software solutions are likely to be developed to give you control over your home heating and cooling equipment including energy control.

Increase in New HVAC Installations

As the building and construction industry picks up following reinvigorated consumer demand at both the residential and commercial level, HVAC equipment installation is likely to witness heavy gains.

Enhanced HVAC Maintenance through Mobile

Continued product innovation and process improvement in the HVAC maintenance field, some new gains in HVAC unit efficiency are likely to be realized. Mobile applications will take over center stage in helping contractors improve on their preventive maintenance programs as smart technologies begin to dominate the residential HVAC landscape.

As HVAC units become more and more complex, homeowners will demand much simpler preventive maintenance programs that they can understand and directly relate to how powerful they are in giving them their ideal indoor environment.

With mobility comes productivity and timely information delivery, stronger effectiveness per visit and increased safety for both the homeowner and the contractor.

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The Convenience and Safety of Outdoor In-Ground Heating

Have you ever imagined extending your HVAC system to cover the outside of your home? Probably not. This is because a huge percentage of homeowners do all that is within their power to ensure their indoor environment is properly conditioned for comfort.

However, there is a section of families that are utilizing hydronic or electric heating to help keep ice and snow from accumulating on their driveways and sidewalks. Of course, this can reduce the amount of shoveling that needs to be done and most importantly reduces the risk of suffering a slip and fall injury.

Outdoor Heating and Air Conditioning

Inasmuch as nobody likes snow, it is a necessary task you have to perform in order to get your car out of the garage or even walk to the mailbox. Fortunately enough, it is possible to install heating elements under your sidewalk and driveway in order to eliminate or reduce the shoveling you have to do.

In-ground heating can help you avoid shoveling injuries as well as lessen the odds of you or one of your family members falling on the ice. In the longer term, this approach can help improve the quality of the soil in your yard or garden because you don’t have to apply chemicals or put salt in order to melt the icy patches.

In-ground heating is similar to radiant floor heating. Normally, a HVAC expert installs elements under the asphalt or cement which use electricity or water to transmit heat to keep the ground level free from ice and snow. The systems are manually controlled to turn the heating elements off and on. Many of them also come with moisture and temperature sensors in order to automatically respond in the event of a cold-weather precipitation.

The Cost of Ground Heating

If you want to make real savings and get the most per dollar of investment, you have to install in-ground heating during new construction or when planning on re-doing a sidewalk or driveway. In this way, you will not have to dig out the old materials to simply gain access to the ground underneath. For homeowners with old homes, they can opt for retrofits although this can be extremely pricey.

Apart from the installation cost, you must also factor in ongoing costs linked with running the in-ground heating system. From the analysis done by independent researchers, in-ground heating is not for families who are trying to keep their HVAC bills as low as possible. In general, water-based or hydronic models are much more expensive to install, but less costly to operate just like radiant floor heating. On the other hand, electric elements are much cheaper to install but also more expensive to run. The price tag oftentimes causes homeowners to think twice, but if you extend your analysis to include the cost of shoveling snow, in-ground heating may be worth the expense.

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