The Ways in which we Heat our Homes

Today there are several different methods of heating a typical residential home in the United States. Here are a few simple examples of the most common ways that homes are currently being heated around the country. For example, a gas or oil furnace is typically used to heat a home by burning oil or gas contained within a sealed chamber. A blower moves air around externally to the chamber where ambient air then absorbs heat that is then ultimately pumped back into the home through ducting.

Make a System Safer and More Reliable

In most cases when a home is heated in this way, combustible gases that are toxic are vented outside of the home through pipes or tubing. While older furnaces will often use air from inside the home for heating, newer units sold today make use of outside air for the same purpose. Using outside air actually helps to increase efficiency and makes a system safer and more reliable. In addition to oil and gas furnaces, there is also the option to heat a home using an electric furnace. This type of system incorporates the use of simple electric strip heating elements. These elements serve to convert electricity into heat that is then used to warm a home.

Heating a Modern Residential Home

Air inside a home comes into contact with heating elements that serve to heat that air that is then distributed from room to room via ducting. This is considered one of the less efficient ways of heating a modern residential home. The system is simple, safe and reliable but generally is more expensive in terms of electricity usage. Finally, heat pumps are perhaps the most efficient way to heat a home using electricity. A heat pump will typically be of the air source type using some kind of refrigerant or chemical to effectively absorb latent heat in the air found outside of the home. This heat is then concentrated and then distributed throughout a home as a way to make the interior environment warm and livable.

Geothermal Style Heat Pump

Considered highly efficient in its operation a typical heat pump may not perform as well when the air outside becomes very cold. Unlike a normal air source heat pump, a geothermal style heat pump will derive its heat energy from the earth as a way to heat a home. This is a unique type of system that uses heat energy from the ground to produce very efficient heating. The benefit of using a geothermal system is that it is unaffected by outside air especially when this air becomes extremely cold. Contact Alpine Heating & Cooling today to learn more about Burlington Washington heating system maintenance and repair.

Today one of the best ways to ensure that your HVAC system operates year-round without interruption is to simply stay ahead of the curve. This means that as spring approaches in mid-March, combining regular spring-cleaning activities with checking your HVAC system is well worth the time and effort. It is vitally important to routinely check your residential HVAC system to make sure that all of the systems are running properly. When you know that your HVAC system is operating smoothly you can rest assured that it will do its job. Especially later in the year as the cold weather ultimately returns.

Checking an HVAC System for Proper Operation

While many homes in Washington State do not have air conditioning, the ones that do should also be prepared to check the air-conditioning portion of their HVAC system in the early spring. This will reduce the chances of not having conditioned air during the hottest times of the summer. When checking any HVAC system for proper operation, there are several things that should be looked at by you or a professional technician. For example, the outdoor portion of an HVAC system should be free of debris. In fact, an area of approximately two feet around the entire air conditioning or heating unit should be clear of leaves, grass and any other kind of landscaping debris.

Using a Hose to Remove Debris or Dirt

Keep in mind that too much debris around the outside portion of an HVAC system can cause degradation in system performance. In addition, it is a good idea to consider washing the exterior condenser unit portion of an HVAC unit. This can be done quite easily by using a hose to remove debris or dirt from the surface of this important component. The mixing of mild soap with warm water makes a solution that is ideal for wiping off any grime that may be adhering to system parts or components. If you choose to clean your HVAC unit on your own, it is still a good idea to have a professional come out and inspect the system to make sure that everything is working as expected.

Keep Your Indoor Air Quality at its Best

Once all outdoor checks have been completed, it is then a good idea to go indoors and change air filters. It is also important to note that some homes may have more than one air filter in more than one location inside of the house. Know the location of all air filters and change them regularly to keep your indoor air quality at its best while ensuring the highest level of system performance and efficiency. Most experts recommend changing filters every 90 days at the very least. Some conscientious homeowners even choose to change filters monthly. Always remember that dirty filters cause your system to work harder and will ultimately cost you more money over the long haul. Contact Alpine Heating & Cooling today for quality HVAC maintenance and inspections in Mount Vernon Washington and the Skagit Valley.

angies_list_2017_super_service_awardOne of the best ways to save money in our world is to always be proactive and to think ahead. This is very much the case when talking about your residential home’s heating and cooling system. These state-of-the-art appliances have been made to operate at peak efficiency under even the most demanding conditions. However, that said it is vital to have any HVAC system routinely inspected by a professional who knows what to look for in terms of potential system failure.

Energy Efficient

Best of all, a small investment in having your home heating and cooling system checked each year will actually in most cases save you money as a homeowner. Expert technicians can spot or identify seeming unimportant issues within an HVAC system that can easily turn into a much more serious and more expensive problem over time. Keep in mind that systems that are designed to be energy efficient must be properly maintained as a way to gain access to the highest levels of efficiency that these systems are capable of delivering.

Annual Inspections

From lowering electrical expenses each month to extending the life your system, there are so many good reasons to schedule a simple and affordable yearly inspection. When routine inspections of this kind are combined with keeping a system clean and having ducts cleaned regularly, the end result is a better performing HVAC unit and even better health for those living in the house. A good way of getting even more benefit from annual inspections of this nature is to work with a trusted and respected name in the business. This provides for comfort in knowing that your system is always in good hands.

HVAC Professionals

With so much to offer it is clear to see why consistent annual HVAC inspections make smart sense today. Save money, save time and save the headaches of loosing control of the environment inside of your home by always planning for this essential and important inspection service. Consumers have many choices when if comes to HVAC professionals in Mt. Vernon WA. One company above all others always delivers on the promise of providing the best in customer service. Alpine Heating & Cooling is a trusted and respected name in reliable and affordable HVAC repair and inspections in Mt. Vernon Wa. Call today!

Useful Tips For Making Your Home More Energy Efficient

With energy costs steadily on the rise it is increasingly important for homeowners to make full use of all available options when it comes to increasing residential energy-efficient. Here are just a few useful ways of making your home more energy efficient in order to reduce your carbon footprint and to save you money. For example, insulation plays a key role in keeping a house at a comfortable temperature and so that the temperature does not fluctuate excessively. Keep in mind that wall insulation as well as attic insulation can be increased as necessary to improve insulating efficiency.

Isolate and Repair any Drafts That Exist

In addition, there are many modern ways of using recycled insulation to increase your home’s efficiency. Everything from shredded blue jeans to recycled paper and other similar materials can literally be blown into the attic or the walls of a home to improve efficiency. Equally important is to make sure that you identify, isolate and repair any drafts that exist within your home. When draft areas are detected they should be sealed using silicone caulking or some other type of foam sealant. Even pet doors can create a serious problem when it comes to allowing conditioned air to escape to the outdoors.

Allowing The Sun To Warm The Interior of Your Home

Another great way to improve energy efficiency in any home is to consider using passive solar heating. This can be as simple as allowing the sun to warm the interior of a home by opening all window coverings on the side where the sun is currently shining. Having regular and routine maintenance performed on a home’s heating system is another great way to better manage efficiency. Units that are properly maintained and routinely inspected perform better and ultimately will save you money.

Wood-Burning Fireplace Will Produce More Heat Than a Gas Fireplace

As an added note, making full use of a wood fireplace can also be a great way to lower energy costs. A wood-burning fireplace will generally produce more heat than a gas fireplace and can be used to burn (in many cases) free fuel sources. This can include everything from fallen trees to cut branches and even wood pellets. Getting creative in this regard will have a big impact on annual energy usage. Finally, reversing ceiling fans and lowering the temperature by a few degrees on the thermostat can have a substantial impact on overall energy usage during the winter months. Contact Alpine Heating & Cooling today to learn more about the best in Mount Vernon Washington heating and air conditioning maintenance and repair.

Let Routine Furnace Maintenance Save You Money

skagit_anacortes_mount_vernon_burlington_wa_hvac_heating_air_conditionMaintaining a heating and cooling system in a proactive way rather than repairing a system when it breaks will ultimately improve efficiency, prevent delays in future repairs and save you money. Most importantly, proactive routine maintenance on an HVAC system will keep your family safe year round. Just as it is important to keep a car’s engine properly maintained to avoid having an engine seize, an HVAC system requires the same care and consideration.

Avoid The Busy Winter Months

Considering the fact that winter is one of the busiest times of the year for professional heating and cooling experts, it is always recommended to have this type of maintenance performed in the summer or at times when contractors in the professional heating and cooling business have more time to address your concerns. Simply avoiding the busy winter months to have your heating system or furnace inspected makes smart sense. Best of all, planning your heating system annual maintenance at the right time can ensure a quick appointment and more timely service.

Peak Performance and Optimal Operation

While a heating system may seem dull and uninteresting on the surface, there is typically a lot going on internally in one of today’s modern HVAC units. These systems are carefully engineered and require numerous adjustments to ensure peak performance and optimal operation at all times. Most notably is the fact that when a system is properly adjusted it will operate more efficiently and save money on utility expenses. Everything from filters to safety equipment and feedback systems must be thoroughly inspected, checked and adjusted as necessary to ensure that everything is operating within specifications as outlined by the manufacturer.

Save Money By Having Routine Maintenance Performed

All said, a properly serviced furnace or HVAC system will ensure years of trouble-free operation for the entire lifetime of the equipment. As an added benefit, routine maintenance will simply extend the useful life of a furnace or HVAC unit. This is another way that you save money by having routine maintenance performed in order to stay proactive. Experts in the industry recommend annual inspections of a furnace by a licensed HVAC service professional as a way to avoid problems and costly repairs. Contact Alpine Heating & Cooling for the best in HVAC system repair and maintenance in Bellingham and the surrounding communities.

Tankless Water Heater Tips and Tricks

Takagi Tankless

Takagi Tankless

Today more than ever before consumers are turning to tankless water heaters as a way to lower energy consumption and decrease utility expenses in general. That said keep in mind that this type of water heater requires a special type of venting in order to blow hot exhaust gas outside of the home as a way to dissipate heat. Different from conventional water heaters, tankless hot water heaters require unique and creative venting options.

Direct Vent Pulls Air From the Outside

Keep in mind that in many cases the installation of this type of water heater results in a more attractive and less expensive finished product. Perhaps the most important aspect of a tankless water heater is that it will save considerable space. Tankless water heaters can be vented in one of two ways. They can either be vented via a power vent or direct venting. A direct vent pulls air from the outside of the home and will typically have two vent openings used for exhaust and intake.

Outside Tankless Water Heaters

This kind of configuration is unique in that it allows a tankless unit to fit in a much smaller spaces than would otherwise be the case. Conversely, power vent type units only require that there be adequate exhaust venting available. That said, a power vent unit usually requires a larger area so that adequate volumes of air are available and so that normal combustion is assured. There are other types of units that are known as outside tankless water heaters. These are good because they can free up a lot of indoor space. Best of all, an outside unit requires no additional venting.

High Efficiency Levels

When installing a unit that does require outside venting remember that venting can be through a sidewall or roof or any other number of other unique venting options. Finally, there are units that are known as condensing tankless water heaters. These are a good choice because they can lower energy costs thanks to very high efficiency levels. With the lower cost of installation associated with nonmetal parts being used, a condensing tankless water heater may be the perfect choice for today’s modern homeowner. Contact Alpine Heating and Cooling today to learn more about Mount Vernon Washington HVAC systems and services with a proven record.



Explore Your Options With A Ductless Mini Split Heat Pump

Modern innovations in HVAC systems have allowed more options for homeowners and businesses today than even just a few short years ago. A ductless mini split heat pump is a unique type of heating system that effectively eliminates energy inefficiencies that are often seen in ducted heating and cooling systems. In fact, a typical ductless mini split can reduce energy inefficiencies by up to 30% or more. These systems are typically easy to install, quiet and efficient and may even be eligible for a variety of energy rebates.

Type Of Installation

One of the best advantages of using this type of heat pump system is that they are ideal for the zone heating or cooling of specific areas of an interior space. In most cases, this type of system can be installed and be up and running within a matter of hours. A ductless mini split heat pump is easy to operate, easy to maintain and will typically last for many years once installed. It is important to note that not all homes are suited for this type of installation. For example, some homes would require too many separate many split systems to be considered cost-effective.

Mini Split System

While there are a variety situations where this kind of heating or cooling system would be ideal there are other cases where a more robust and comprehensive system would be more appropriate. That is why it is important to talk with your heating and cooling professional to find out which system will work best for your particular needs. Keep in mind that the portion of a mini split system that is installed indoors can at times be bulky and easily visible. Those who prefer a more hidden type of system may wish to consider other options.

Heating And Cooling

All said a ductless mini split is an excellent option when used in the right type of application. Having a professional assessment of your home or business is usually the perfect place to begin when determining whether or not this type of heating and cooling option is the most appropriate. Many factors are taken into account such as the size of the interior space and the area that requires heating and cooling. The electrical panel and the type of construction as well as the existing system in use are all taken into account when determining if a mini split system is best. Contact Alpine Heating & Cooling today for Mount Vernon HVAC system service and sales.

Why Proper Home Ventilation is so Important


An American Standard Heat Pump

Remove Odors and Pollutants

Perhaps one of the most important concerns when it comes to indoor air and health is to ensure proper ventilation in any typical residential home. Good ventilation helps to remove odors and pollutants and prevents air from becoming too stagnant. Not only will good indoor home ventilation improve health but it also serves to protect your home interior over the short and long-term. One major issue in terms of properly ventilating a home or business is that of condensation. When moist warm air makes contact with cold surfaces inside a structure condensation can occur.

Unhealthy Living Environment

Condensation can be seen forming on ceilings, walls and glass and can also accumulate in curtains and carpeting. Perhaps most concerning of all when talking about condensation is that over time it will result in the formation of mold and mildew. This can turn a healthy home into an unhealthy living environment very quickly. Keep in mind that properly insulating a home along with good ventilation will greatly reduce the chances of developing mold and mildew. One of the most alarming aspects of mold and mildew is that it may result in black mold. This can have serious health consequences.

Fuel-Burning Appliances

Ventilation can take on many different forms including static ventilation as well as the installation of a fan or multiple fans for more active air movement. Ventilation that is static in nature simply involves adding interior grills or other types of fixed openings used to allow for constant airflow and air evacuation. For example, clothing dryers require some type of static ventilation. Talk with your HVAC professional to determine how best to take advantage of static ventilation in your home. This type of ventilation is particularly important in homes where there are fuel-burning appliances.

Wood-Burning Stoves

Installing a fan really is a great way to remove stale air and replace it with fresh air in a house. As mentioned, fan installation and air movement is particularly important in homes using fuel-burning appliances or wood-burning stoves. This is simply due to the fact that carbon monoxide exposure can become a problem. Finally, exhaust fans are frequently used to ventilate homes and especially kitchens and bathrooms. This type of fan is usually ducted to the outside of the house as a way to evacuate stale or stagnant air. To have an exhaust fan installed in your home consult with your Burlington WA HVAC expert to learn more. Content Alpine Heating and Cooling today for quality Mount Vernon WA HVAC services.