Celco Heating and Air Conditioning Blog : Archive for March, 2014

How Winter Cold Creates Problems with Your Fireplace

Friday, March 28th, 2014

The winter cold still continues into the spring here in New Haven, so if you have a fireplace in your home, you’re probably still getting plenty of cozy use out of it. But even though we expect to have hearth flames glowing during the winter, the winter’s cold can cause some serious problems for your fireplace that may require you to hire a professional fireplace repair service to fix the issues.

We’ll look at the problems that harsh cold can create for a fireplace and chimney. Because of the sturdy brick and stone construction of most fireplaces, repairs require specially trained workers. For your fireplace in New Haven, CT, call our hearth and chimney experts at Celco Heating and Air Conditioning.

Winter Problems for a Fireplace

The No. 1 trouble that cold weather will cause a fireplace is cracking because of moisture. Water will get into a chimney and fireplace during rains or light snow, and moisture will enter small crevices in bricks and mortar and inside the chimney liner. When the temperature drops further, the water will freeze and expand as it becomes ice. This can cause large cracks to develop in the masonry and the chimney liner. This is not only a structural problem, it can allow flames and heat to escape from the chimney and firebox of the fireplace, leading to damage to combustible material or fires starting in upper floors or on the roof. Cracking of any kind needs professional heating system repairs before it turns worse.

The other problem you can encounter in cold weather is trouble with heavy downdrafts (or “negative pressure”). For your fireplace to work properly, it must displace exhaust up the chimney and replace the vacant area with cooler air. Strong winter winds can cause external pressure on the chimney and create problems with proper venting, as well as blow smoke back into your home. This problem can be worse if the chimney isn’t tall enough (an issue that may require extensive reconstruction), or it might come from a damaged damper. If you have serious problems with this, have a professional come out to inspect your fireplace for possible fixes.

Maintain Your Fireplace

To make sure that the problems from cold weather do not compound and worsen, you need to schedule regular maintenance and cleaning for your fireplace and chimney. For professional heating service in New Haven, CT, pick up the phone and give us a call today to set up your next appointment. Don’t forget to ask about our maintenance program so you’ll know how best to care for your cozy hearth.

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Is Geothermal Heating the Right Option for Me?

Friday, March 21st, 2014

When it comes to heating and cooling a home, the power of a geothermal heat pump (also called a ground-source heat pump) offers one of the most effective, reliable, and environmentally-friendly methods. These heat pumps use the earth beneath the surface as the medium for heat exchange. During cold weather, they draw heat from the ground using loops of refrigerant buried in the soil and transport it inside to air handlers, where blowers distributes warmed air into homes. During hot weather, the process reverses and the heat pumps extracts heat from the indoor air and place it into the ground.

Because of the multiple advantages of a geothermal heat pump, many people are interested in having one installed. But they often shy away because of the installation price, or worries that the system won’t work on their property. If you’re wondering whether geothermal heating in Greenwich, CT is right for your home, we can answer some of your questions here. However, you’ll should talk to a geothermal expert for a definite answer: contact Celco Heating and Air Conditioning to speak to one.

Geothermal: The (Many) Upsides And The (Few) Downsides

Geothermal heat pumps have a stability of heating power that normal “air-source” heat pumps lack. Where an air-source heat pump will struggle with the coldest temperatures in Connecticut and lose efficiency, a ground-source heat pump always has sufficient heat for heat exchange because the temperature 6–10 feet below the surface remains stable no matter the temperature above.

This efficiency means that geothermal heat pumps costs less to operate; the U.S. Department of Energy estimates a geothermal system will pay back its installation cost in 5–10 years, and it can last more than 50 years. Add to that the low emissions and quiet operation of a geothermal system, and you have an ideal-sounding comfort solution for your home.

However, the upfront costs can be intimidating, and your budget plans may not work well with the long-term expectations of a geothermal heat pump. These systems also require a large amount of space for their coils. Although different coil configurations can save space, there are some homes that simply will not have sufficient room for a geothermal heat pump to work effectively. In addition, some types of soils, such as ones with high acidity, can damage the loops and will not work for geothermal power.

Let The Professionals Guide You

You now may have a better idea if a ground-source heat pump is right for you. But call Celco Heating and Air Conditioning first to schedule an appointment to discuss your heating system options in Greenwich, CT. You may find out that geothermal is the right way to go; if it isn’t, your technician will find the alternative that will do the best job for you.

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Signs of Trouble with Your Hot Water Heater

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Among the small daily tragedies that can happen without much warning is when you turn on the faucets for your morning shower—and no hot water comes out. You wait, and wait, and wait, but the water stubbornly refuses to turn even slightly warm.

You water heater has died.

But wait, back up. “…without much warning.” Actually, that’s rarely the case with water heaters. If your home water heater is headed for trouble, there are warning signs you can spot early enough to call for repairs and prevent that cold shower surprise. We’ve put together a few of the omens of trouble in your hot water heater in Hamden, CT to watch for. When you need those repairs fast, call on Celco Heating and Air Conditioning and our 24-hour emergency service team.

Your Heater is Warning You If…

  • You find rusty or discolored water coming from the taps: If you turn a hot water handle, and the water that comes out is a rusty or brown color, then you probably have corrosion in the tank of the water heater. This can come from excessive age (in which case the water heater will probably need to be replaced) or a rusted anode rod.
  • The water won’t get hot enough: When the temperature of your hot water start to lower, don’t ignore it. A drop in heating power often means problems with the burner (in a gas-powered water heater) or broken heating elements (in an electric-powered water heater). These both need attention before you lose heating entirely.
  • The tank of the heater starts rumbling: There are a number of reasons that the water tank will start making an odd rumbling noise, none of them positive. It could be a faulty mixing valve causing hot and cold water to mix together. It might also be excess sediment in the bottom of the tank, reducing the volume in the tank and causing the pressure to spike. Call for repairs before the heater becomes too damaged to work.

Remember to Schedule Maintenance As Well

Heating repairs will help prevent a water heater shutdown, but you also have a path for prevention as well: regular maintenance. When you enroll in a regular maintenance program, you’ll receive an annual visit from a technician who will flush out the water heater and clean and adjust the components so it works its best and without impending repair needs.

At Celco Heating and Air Conditioning, we offer a comprehensive maintenance program for your hot water heater and other HVAC system services in Hamden, CT. When you’re in need of  Call us today to make sure you have your hot water heater covered.

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Things to Prepare For With Radiant Heat Installation

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Radiant heat describes one of the three ways that heat travels: radiant heat moves in electromagnetic waves from a hot surface, traveling without warming the air until it strikes another solid object and transfers its energy to it. In terms of heating your home, radiant heat refers to a heating system that sends warmth into your living space by heating up elements in your floor or your wall, usually through hydronic power (heated water).

Radiant heating has been popular in Europe for years, and is now making an impact in North America. If you are planning to have radiant heating installed in your home, here are a few things to prepare for. Call Celco Heating and Air Conditioning to schedule your radiant heat installation in Norwalk, CT.

The Installation Process Can Be Extensive

If you are retro-fitting your home for radiant heating (instead of installing it as part of new home construction), you should be prepared for a longer installation process than you would experience for a new furnace or heat pump. The installers will need to excavate your floors to place the PEX pipes that will carry the hot water, and then lay down subfloors. The amount of skilled work involved means that you should never entrust the job to amateurs.

Your Heating Bills Will Drop

Hydronic heating from a standard boiler already costs less to run than a furnace. But a radiant system will make your heating bills drop even further because of their high efficiency at supplying warmth. They lose little heat in the process of transferring the hot water to the pipes under the floor, and the speed with which they raise the temperature of a room (starting from right under your feet and rising up) means you will need to run the system less often than you would a forced-air heater.

You’ll Have Much Healthier Air

Heating systems that use ventilation ducts to distribute conditioned air will collect dust, dirt, and other contaminants along the way. Regular cleaning of the ductwork will reduce this, but it can never eliminate it entirely. But radiant heating is clean heat that needs no ductwork. You can expect a reduction in various cold and flu-like symptoms in your house. People with allergies will especially notice a change in their condition with radiant heat.

Although the amount of work needed to install radiant heat may sound intimidating, remember that with the right contractors handling the work, it will go smoothly and as fast as possible. Call Celco Heating and Air Conditioning for all of your heating installation needs in Norwalk, CT. Trust to our more than 35 years of experience with delivering quality heating to our customers.

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