Will Thanksgiving Turkey Really Make You Sleepy?

November 26th, 2014

We’ve all heard it before: you feel so sleepy after a Thanksgiving meal because of the main event: the turkey. For years, people have credited extraordinary levels of tryptophan in turkey as the reason we all feel the need to nap after the annual feast. But contrary to this popular mythology, tryptophan is probably not he largest responsible party for your post-meal exhaustion.

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, which means it’s something that our bodies need but do not produce naturally. Your body uses tryptophan to help make vitamin B3 and serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that sends chemicals to the brain to aid in sleep. But in order to get this essential amino acid, we have to eat foods that contain it.

Turkey has somewhat high levels of tryptophan, but so do many other foods, including eggs, peanuts, chocolate, nuts, bananas, and most other meats and dairy products. In fact, ounce-for-ounce cheddar cheese contains a greater amount of tryptophan than turkey. In order for tryptophan to make you feel sleepy, you would have to consume it in excessive amounts, and serotonin is usually only produced by tryptophan on an empty stomach.

The truth is, overeating is largely responsible for the “food coma” many people describe post-Thanksgiving. It takes a lot of energy for your body to process a large meal, and the average Thanksgiving plate contains about twice as many calories as is recommended for daily consumption. If anything, high levels of fat in the turkey cause sleepiness, as they require a lot of energy for your body to digest. Lots of carbohydrates, alcohol, and probably a bit of stress may also be some of the reasons it feels so satisfying to lay down on the couch after the meal and finally get a little bit of shut-eye.

If you feel the need to indulge in a heaping dose of tryptophan this year, go ahead! Turkey also contains healthy proteins and may even provide a boost for your immune system. Here at Rentmeister Total Home Service, we hope your Thanksgiving is full of joy and contentment this year. Happy feasting!

Types of Radiant Floor Heating

November 7th, 2014

Radiant floor heating has become a popular choice among homeowners. There are two main types of floor heating, as we’ll describe in more detail below. Choosing a type will depend largely on your needs and your preferences, and working with an expert can go a long way toward ensuring you select the type that best fits you and your home. Rentmeister Total Home Service has been providing professional heating services in Salt Lake City since 1953, so if you are ready for a new heating installation, call us today.

Electric Radiant Heating

Electric radiant heating relies on electric cables that generate heat when electrified. The cables can be embedded in wet cement to create a radiant slab, laid out in a serpentine pattern directly onto sub-flooring, or be part of a mat which has electrically-conductive plastic. Laying electrical cable into wet cement is known as a “wet” installation; mats can be installed directly onto subflooring just like straight electric cable.

Hydronic Radiant Floor Heating

A hydronic system is one that uses hot water or steam to heat your home. With radiant heating, flexible, durable PEX tubing is installed beneath your flooring; a boiler heats the water, and once the correct temperature is achieved, circulating pumps push the water through the tubing. If your boiler generates steam, the steam will flow under its own pressure. Once the water cools, it returns to the boiler for another heating cycle.

Which Type Is Best?

Determining which system is best for you depends in part on your preferences and your current heating situation. If you have a boiler in your home already, a hydronic radiant floor system may make more sense than an electric one. If you don’t have a boiler system, it may be better to use electric radiant heating instead of installing a new boiler. Working with a trained professional will help you determine the best option when it comes to heating your home with a radiant system.

Each type of radiant heating system has a lot to offer you. Call Rentmeister Total Home Service today and schedule an appointment with one of our installation specialists.

Do I Need a Boiler for Radiant Heating?

October 31st, 2014

With the advent of new radiant heating products, such as improved tubing, radiant systems have become very popular with homeowners. When choosing a radiant system, you have a choice between the types of radiant heating you’d like to use: electric or hydronic, and with a hydronic system, you do need to use a boiler. Each type works a little differently, but both offer the comfort and warmth you need from your heating system. Radiant systems require knowledge and expertise for installation, maintenance and repair, so call the people you can trust: Rentmeister Total Home Service.

Electric Radiant Flooring

With electric radiant flooring, thin cables are electrified to produce heat. There are two ways electric radiant floor heating can be installed: wet installation and mat installation. In a wet installation, the electric cables are laid into wet cement. When the cement dries and the cables are activated, the cement acts as a radiant slab, heating from below the floor. Electric mats consist of electrical wire and electrically conductive plastic, and can be installed directly to subflooring.

Hydronic Radiant Flooring

Hydronic heating is heating via hot water, and this is the type of radiant floor heating for which you need a boiler. With hydronic floor heating, hot water from the boiler is pumped through durable PEX tubing that is installed underneath your flooring. When the water cools, it returns back to the boiler for the next heating cycle.

Benefits of Radiant Heating

There are several benefits of radiant heating worth considering:

  • No circulating dust – there is no blowing air with a radiant heating system, which can help the allergy sufferers in your home.
  • Gentle heating – the heating from a radiant system is gradual, which can feel more comfortable to some people as compared to a forced air system.
  • Easy zoning – the piping used with hydronic radiant flooring can be easily zoned for better heating customization.
  • Quiet operation – radiant systems deliver heat making little-to-no noise.

Radiant flooring is energy efficient, comfortable and durable, and it isn’t necessary to have a boiler to install it. If you think radiant floor heating is an option for your home, call Rentmeister Total Home Service today and schedule your heating appointment in Salt Lake City with one of our HVAC experts.

What Are My Choices for a New Heating System?

October 24th, 2014

Here in Salt Lake City, you need a new heating system that will be sturdy and reliable. Often, it is best to replace an older heating system with a similar type. For example, it’s probably best to replace a forced-air heating system with a new furnace or heat pump, while it’s best to replace a radiant heating system with a similar model. But if you’re considering a brand new system for your new home, here are some of your options.

  • Furnace: Furnaces are some of the most popular systems available to homeowners, in part because of the relatively low cost of installation and the efficiency of many modern units. Furnaces may generate heat with electrical current or natural gas, and connect to the ductwork in order to distribute warm air.
  • Heat Pump: Heat pumps also connect to your ductwork, but this replaces both your heating and air conditioning system. Heat pumps work just like central air conditioners in the summertime, removing heat from the air inside and releasing it outside. However, in the winter, they can actually absorb heat from the outside air in order to release it into your home.
  • Hybrid Heating System: Sometimes, it’s too cold outside for your heat pump to absorb heat efficiently or effectively. For this reason, you may choose to install a hybrid heating system, which combines two fuels, gas and electric heating, for maximum energy savings. Most of the time, your heat pump absorbs heat from the outside, but when temperatures drop too low, around 30 degrees, the gas furnace kicks in.
  • Geothermal Heat Pump: A geothermal heat pump works much like a regular air-source heat pump except that it pulls heat from the ground instead of the air. The ground remains a constant temperature year round, which makes it a reliable source for heating and cooling.
  • Radiant Heating: Finally, radiant systems are some of the most efficient systems out there. These use hot water as a source of heat in order to distribute it evenly throughout the home either via a radiator, baseboard, or with piping underneath the floorboards, for the ultimate in home comfort.

You should always discuss your options with an expert before making any long-term decisions. Professionals can help you to decide which unit is right for you and what fits into your budget. Call the professional technicians at Rentmeister Total Home Service for any questions you have about heating services in Salt Lake City.

Join Us at the Community Trunk or Treat!

October 24th, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 2.56.57 PM

Join us at the 2nd Annual RC Willey Community Trunk or Treat on Monday, October 27 from 5-8pm at RC Willey (1693 W. 2700 S. Syracuse). Whether your costume is sweet or spooky, come join local Syracuse businesses for an evening of trick or treating! For the safety of our trick or treaters, the north parking lot will be blocked off so you can go trunk to trunk collecting your Halloween treats. You’re sure to have a fun and safe night!

How Does Maintenance Prevent Repair?

October 17th, 2014

Did you know that up to 50% of all heating repair calls can be eliminated by scheduling maintenance for your heating system? That may seem like a big number, but it’s no surprise to the technicians here at Rentmeister Total Home Service. We think maintenance is so important that we not only offer an in-depth maintenance plan, but every maintenance appointment involves a checklist of 23 items to be completed as well. It’s recommended that heating maintenance is completed every 12 months, so if it’s time to schedule yours, call us today!

What Happens During a Maintenance Visit?

Here is a general overview of what happens during a routine maintenance appointment with a Rentmeister Total Home Service technician:

  • Thorough inspection of entire system
  • Cleaning of components
  • Lubrication of all moving parts
  • Safety checks, especially for combustion systems
  • Small repairs (worn fan belts, frayed wiring)
  • Performance testing
  • Check of all electrical components
  • Check and testing of burner assembly

So how does maintenance help prevent repair? The key is the thorough inspection of your system. During this inspection, the technician will look for any existing or developing problems. This preventative step allows the technician to take care of small things during the appointment, and make you aware of larger issues before they can become bigger issues. Getting ahead of repairs helps to prevent them, which can also save you money down the road.

Other Benefits of Heating Maintenance

  • Better energy efficiency – the cleaning, adjusting and lubrication of the components allows the system to operate optimally
  • Better comfort – a worn and dirty system can have a hard time achieving the comfort level you want; when the system is tuned-up, it can perform as needed
  • Extends life of equipment – maintenance keeps your systems and its components in good working order, which helps reduce premature aging

Maintenance doesn’t just help prevent repairs; it provides a full system tune-up that can help improve overall performance and increase energy efficiency. Get ahead of winter weather and schedule your heating maintenance in Salt Lake City with your Rentmeister Total Home Service technician today.

When Should I Schedule Heating Maintenance?

October 10th, 2014

If your heating system malfunctions in the middle of a particularly cold night, it can be frustrating, leaving you waiting for a technician and paying for unexpected repairs. You need a reliable heater for the cold winter months in Salt Lake City, which is why scheduling professional heating maintenance every year is vital.

Heating maintenance ensures the well-being of your unit because a technician completely inspects your unit for damages. This means you can schedule any necessary repairs early on, before they damage your system and it stops working when you need it most. Furthermore, parts of your unit are cleaned or adjusted as needed, to keep dirt and minor wear and tear from affecting your system.

So when is the right time to schedule heating maintenance? If you haven’t already called for maintenance this year, the best time is now! Don’t wait for issues to occur before calling a technician. There may be problems with the parts of your system that are hidden from view or are not yet large enough to cause an obvious problem. Waiting longer for maintenance increases your chances of your system malfunctioning. As winter goes on, the parts of your system may become overworked, which can lead to reduced heating or a failed system. And a technician has the right tools and training to catch repair needs that may not be immediately apparent.

In fact, the prospect of fewer repairs is not the only reason to call a technician early in the heating season. Scheduling maintenance early on also keeps you from paying too much on heating. If parts of your unit are worn down, other parts often have to work harder to pick up the slack, which means your unit will use more energy than it should. And with some types of heaters, maintenance can even protect your home and safety, preventing water damage and gas leaks.

For a thorough inspection of your heating system, call the dependable team at Rentmeister Total Home Service. We offer complete heating maintenance in Salt Lake City for any type of heating system as well as 24-hour emergency service, in case your unit suddenly breaks down.

When to Schedule Heating Repairs

October 3rd, 2014

Everyone knows that they need to have their heating system maintained and repaired from time to time. Your heating system won’t last nearly as long without regular maintenance, after all. That being said, some situations are far more advantageous than others when it comes to heating repair.

Read on to discover the best time of the year to schedule your maintenance.

Fall Maintenance

The best time to have your heating system maintained is always before a period of heavy usage. What’s the time of year that you use your heating system the most? Winter. So, the best time to schedule your annual maintenance is during the fall season. This way, you can be confident that your heating system is performing at peak efficiency during the season that you need it the most.

Waiting until winter is in full swing is not recommended. For one thing, HVAC repair demand will start to rise as the number of breakdowns increases. For another, you will increase the chance of your own system malfunctioning the longer you wait. The last thing you want is to be without heat in the middle of winter for any length of time. The increased technician demand will only increase the time you have to wait. Save yourself a great deal of time and money by having your heating repair done every fall.

Spot Checking

The other time you’ll want to have your heating repair done is when you notice something wrong. This may seem obvious, but the point is to schedule a service call as soon as you notice a problem. It may be tempting to put it off until the fall season. You likely aren’t going to be using it much during spring or summer anyway, right? Ignoring problems, however, will only make them that much worse when you finally do address them. It’s always best to tend to the problem as soon as it comes up.

If you have a problem with your heating, or haven’t scheduled your annual maintenance yet, call Rentmeister Total Home Service. We conduct heating repairs throughout Salt Lake City.

Why do Furnaces Need an Exhaust Flue?

September 26th, 2014

While it may not be the most glamorous part of your furnace, the exhaust flue is the most important part for ensuring your safety. Furnaces produce a number of harmful and potentially deadly gases, and without a properly functioning flue those gases become trapped in your home. A well-maintained flu directs all of these harmful combustion byproducts out of your house, allowing you to turn up the heat without worry.

Combustion Byproducts

As the furnace burns fuel a number of gases are produced, collectively known as “combustion byproducts.” These include carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide. Heavy or prolonged exposure to these gases can have devastating effects, and thousands die every year as a result of being poisoned by them. Even low level exposure can be dangerous if it occurs over a long period of time. Symptoms of low level exposure include nausea, fatigue, unconsciousness, headaches, and disorientation. The best way to prevent exposure to these byproducts is by properly maintaining all carbon fuel-burning appliances, including furnaces.

Maintaining Your Flue

The two things required for the flue to do its job correctly are a clear path of egress and proper furnace ventilation. If the flue vents through a chimney, make sure that the chimney is clear of debris that might block the flue access. This will allow the combustion byproducts to vent out of the home. Proper furnace ventilation is a bit more difficult. If the furnace is not getting enough oxygen to maintain heating, it will draw in outdoor air through the flue. This causes the flue to operate in reverse, potentially trapping combustion gases in your home. The easiest way to fix this is to install ventilation ducts to direct more air to the furnace.

Even if you don’t notice any problems with your furnace, it is recommended that you have it checked by a professional once a year. If you haven’t had your furnace serviced yet this year, call Rentmeister Total Home Service. We are experts in heating repair service covering the entire Salt Lake City area.

Why It’s Important to Schedule End of Summer Air Conditioning Repairs

September 19th, 2014

As we head into the cooler temperatures of the fall season, it can be very tempting to pack up your air conditioner and move on to heating – even if you have an existing problem. Ignoring or waiting to fix a problem doesn’t make it go away, and more than likely, will make it worse over time. There are other reasons to schedule end-of-summer repairs for your air conditioning too, as we’ll outline below. And remember – it’s important to hire trained professionals for all your repair needs to ensure the job is done correctly, so call the people you can trust: Rentmeister Total Home Service.

Reasons It’s Important to Schedule End-of-Summer Repairs

As we touched on above, leaving an existing problem to wait until the next cooling season is likely to make the problem worse, so it’s best to fix it now. But there are some other factors to consider when deciding whether or not to make end-of-season repairs:

Repairs Now Can Save You Money

We’ve already discussed existing problems, but what about developing problems? Unless a trained technician has inspected your system, you won’t know about them. We’re talking about things like worn fan belts and trapped debris – small things that can become big problems unless they’re attended to.

Repairs Now Can Save On Energy

A system that is run down in any way won’t function optimally, and when a system doesn’t function optimally, it needs more energy to run. Making needed repairs ensures that malfunctioning parts aren’t just fixed, but running as they should. This can save you energy, which can save you money.

Repairs Now Can Help Extend the Life of Your System

Allowing a system to run when needing repair can age the system prematurely. Making needed repairs restores that part or component to its optimal state, which can help extend the life of your system.

Repairs Now Can Maintain and/or Increase Indoor Comfort Levels

An air conditioning system that isn’t performing optimally can struggle to achieve the temperature you’ve set in your home; this can compromise indoor comfort levels. Making the needed repairs now can ensure the comfort level you need and want.

No one enjoys air conditioning repairs, but it’s always better to make repairs as soon as possible rather than ignoring them or waiting to see if things improve. If you are seeing problems with your air conditioner, call Rentmeister Total Home Service today and schedule AC repair service in Salt Lake City with one of our experts.