What Are My Options for Heating System Replacement?

December 12th, 2014

All heating systems die eventually. You can and should take the best possible care of your heater, but sooner or later you’re going to have to replace it. The question then becomes “what do I replace it with?” Fortunately for you, there are a wide variety of options available for your new home heating system. Let’s take a look at a few of those options.

Boilers

Boilers are a classic option for home heating, and one often overlooked by homeowners. This is usually due to ignorance of the kinds of benefits that boiler-based systems provide to homeowners. For example, radiant heating is the most common kind of boiler-based heating system. It consists of a network of water pipes installed into the wall or subfloor of each room that needs heating. The boiler then heats and distributes water through these pipes, causing heat to radiate through the walls and floor to warm up the room.

Radiant heating has few great advantages over forced air systems. For one, a closed water system wastes a lot less energy and heat than a forced air system does. For another, radiant heating can heat a room much more evenly than a forced air system. This helps eliminate hot and cold spots that are pretty commonplace among forced air system heated rooms.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are another unique option that is just now beginning to garner the popularity it deserves. Heat pumps do not burn fuel to generate heat; they only need electricity to operate. Instead of burning fuel, the heat pump siphons thermal energy from the outside air to use in heating the home. This makes heat pumps very energy efficient, quite a bit more so than traditional furnace systems. The one downside is that in areas that frequently get below zero degrees Fahrenheit, the heat pump loses efficiency. This is due to the dearth of thermal energy available in the air, which the heat pump needs to heat the home.

If you’d like to know more about the options available for heating your home, call Rentmeister Total Home Service. Our technicians offer heating services all over Salt Lake City.

Is My System Worth the Cost of Heating Repair?

December 5th, 2014

Deciding whether or not it’s time to replace your heating system should take several factors into consideration. Reviewing these factors can help you answer the sometimes challenging question of whether or not you should continue to repair your current heating system or consider replacement:

Corrosion/Rust

Your heater, even if it is a boiler system, should not have excessive rust or corrosion on it. Rust and/or corrosion can release dangerous combustion byproducts, such as carbon monoxide, through cracks and holes. While small areas of rust and corrosion can be repaired, excessive corrosion cannot. It may be more prudent to install a new system rather than replace all the areas affected by the corrosion.

Age

The average combustion heating system lasts 15-20 years. How old is your current system? As heaters age, their ability to perform effectively decreases and components begin to wear. At some point, it may not be worth the cost to repair a new system as your money may be better spent on a new, durable and reliable one.

Energy Efficiency

Are you seeing higher energy bills but haven’t changed the way you use your heating system? Aging systems can have a hard time achieving the energy efficiency they were made to operate at. Today’s systems are very energy efficient, so it may be worthwhile to see how much you could potentially save on monthly energy bills with a new heater.

Numerous Repairs

Have you had to make numerous, costly repairs for your heater to keep running? Repair costs can add up quickly – sometimes to the cost of a new system. If you are facing multiple repairs, or large, costly ones, you may want to see if your money is better spent on a new system.

If you are having trouble deciding if your current system is worth the continued cost of repairs, try working with a trained specialist. The experts at Rentmeister Total Home Service are here to help with all your heating needs in Salt Lake City, so call us and schedule an appointment today!

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!

What Is a Condensing Boiler?

November 21st, 2014

Boilers were the first whole-home heating systems. They are reliable and durable, and offer comfortable, energy efficient heating. These days, not only do you have a choice when it comes to fuel type for a boiler (oil, gas, propane, solid fuels), you also have a choice between condensing and non-condensing boilers. We’ll explain the difference between the two types of boilers below, but remember that for any heating repair in Salt Lake City, call the people you can count on: Rentmeister Total Home Service.

Condensing vs. Non-Condensing

Boilers work by generating heat in a combustion chamber that warms a heat exchanger; this heat exchanger warms the water in your system while also venting the gases from the combustion products. This brings us to the first difference between the systems: a non-condensing boiler has one heat exchanger while a condensing boiler has two. With a condensing boiler, instead of venting the combustion byproducts to the outside via your flue, these gases go through a secondary heat exchanger. As the hot gases cool, they turn into vapor from which the latent heat is extracted and circulated back to the primary heat exchanger. The non-usable vapor cools into water (aka, condensate), which is safely removed from your boiler by a condensate drain pipe. This water is slightly acidic, but poses no danger. At the end of the process, the exhaust of your boiler, which contains usable, latent heat energy, condenses this latent energy and capture it for use.

Why Consider a Condensing Boiler?

The main reason to consider a condensing boiler is the level of energy efficiency you can achieve. The average AFUE of a condensing boiler is over 90%, meaning that less than 10% of the fuel used to generate heat is wasted; this can be a significant savings for many homeowners. Additionally, many condensing boilers are smaller in size, which can save space.

Boilers are reliable, durable heating systems that can work with different outlets, including radiators, baseboard heaters and hydronic radiant heating. If you are interested in seeing what a condensing boiler can do for you, contact Rentmeister Total Home Service today!

Why Consider Ductless Heating?

November 14th, 2014

Sometimes there are so many choices for home heating that it can be almost overwhelming to decide on one. But understanding how certain systems work and what they can offer you and your home can go a long way toward helping you choose and install a heating system that fits great with your home. One system to consider is ductless heating. Some wonder how ductless systems can heat a home, so we’ll take some time to explain this below. But no matter what heating system you choose, make sure you hire professionals who can properly install and service your new heating system. Since 1953, Rentmeister Total Home Service has helped many, many customers find the perfect heating system in Salt Lake City, and we can help you, too. Call us today!

How Does a Ductless System Heat?

The reason a ductless system can heat your home is that it uses heat pump technology. With a heat pump, a component called a reversing valve allows the system to offer both heating and cooling. This is because the reversing valve can change the direction of the refrigerant flow. As the homeowner, all you have to do is press the heating button on your dual-mode thermostat – the heat pump does the rest.

Why Consider a Ductless System?

One of the main reasons ductless systems have become so popular is because they can both heat and cool your home. But there are other reasons to consider a ductless system:

  • Easy installation – a ductless system has an outdoor unit that contains the compressor and condenser and indoor blowers that distribute the heat. All that’s required to connect the indoor blowers to the outdoor unit is a conduit drilled into an exterior wall. A single outdoor unit can support up to 4 indoor blowers, so as long as you have the support, you can easily add as many indoor blowers as you need.
  • Very energy efficient – heat pumps use about 25% of the electricity of a whole-home air conditioning system, and no fossil fuels whatsoever. This makes them very energy efficient and environmentally-friendly.
  • Customized comfort – each blower can be set at its own temperature, which allows you to create zone control.

If it seems like a ductless system may be a good fit for your heating needs, call Rentmeister Total Home Service and schedule professional heating service in Salt Lake City with one of our experts today.

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

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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.