Monthly Archives: February 2016

HOW A ADD-ON HEAT PUMP WORKS

You might think of the add-on heat pump as an air conditioner that can operate in either direction. It consists of an inside and outside unit, each containing a coil.  The outside unit has a compressor.  Both coils are connected by tubing, and inside the tubing is liquid refrigerant, which has the ability to absorb and release heat. In the summer, warm air inside your home is absorbed by the refrigerant in the inside unit, which cools the air in the inside coil and then blows that cooled air into your home. The heat that is absorbed by the refrigerant is carried to the outside unit, where it is condensed and the resulting heat is blown out as hot air.  This is just the same as a high-efficiency central air conditioner.

In the winter, available heat is extracted from outdoor air and absorbed by refrigerant in the coil in the outside unit.  The refrigerant is compressed into vapor, which raises the temperature to provide heat. The heated refrigerant is then pumped inside, where the vapor condenses, releasing heat, which is distributed throughout your home by your furnace fan.  The refrigerant is then pumped back through the outside unit to restart the process. Because a heat pump moved heat instead of creating heat, it achieves energy-efficiency rating of 250 percent to 370 percent, depending on the outdoor temperature.  By comparison, gas furnaces-which create heat-range in the efficiency from 60 percent to 92 percent.

What Is Geothermal Heating?

photo of geothermal heating

 

 

 

 

Are you thinking green? Many green-thinking homeowners have made the switch to geothermal heating for their Omaha-area home. What is geothermal heating? What does it mean for homeowners? And how can homeowners make the switch? Let the G-Force heating and cooling team explain.

What Is Geothermal Heating?

In order to explain geothermal heating, we first need to explain geothermal energy. Geothermal energy is the thermal energy that is produced and stored in the Earth. In other words, it is the Earth’s internal heat. Instead of burning fossil fuels, which is done in ordinary heating and cooling systems, geothermal systems simply transfer heat (geothermal energy) to and from the earth. Check out the four basic geothermal energy sources for a description of how the systems work in your home.

What Does Geothermal Heating Mean For Homeowners?

The initial purchase and installation of a geothermal heat pump, or GHP, is often higher than most heating and cooling systems. However, homeowners can recover their investment through lower energy in two to ten years. In fact, according to the US Department of Energy, geothermal heat pumps don’t just bring lower energy bills. “GHPs equipped with a device called a ‘desuperheater’ can heat household water. In the summer cooling period, the heat that is taken from the house is used to heat the water for free. In the winter, water heating costs are reduced by about half.”

How Can Homeowners Make the Switch?

Many Omaha-area homeowners have easily made the switch to geothermal heating. It is recommended that homeowners choose a company, such as Getzschman, that has experience with geothermal heating. From here, the heating and cooling company will come out to your home and walk you through the various geothermal heat pump options. Once an option has been chosen, the next steps will vary, and before you know it your geothermal heating will have you saving lots of money in energy bills each month.

Expert Tips: Interested in geothermal? Take advantage of the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit. It expires at the end of 2016!

Have more questions about geothermal heating? Give the G-Force team a call today or request a service online here.

Frozen Pizza, Frozen Yogurt, Frozen Pipes – Which Is Not Like the Other?

frozen-pipesThere are lots of things in this world that are pleasing when you think of frozen things. Ice cream is tasty, ice skating is fun, and ice cubes keep your drinks cold in the summer.

But in the winter, there is a certain kind of frozen you just can’t “Let it Go.”  That would be frozen pipes in your home, and let’s just say that creating a winter wonderland in your basement is NOT a good thing. Here are some ideas from the Getzschman team to make sure your pipes are always operational.

Know Where Your Pipes Are Located to Prevent Freezing

Most people don’t think of where their water pipes are located – they just turn on the faucet and know the water will come out (unless you forget to pay the water bill, which is an entirely different problem!)

But where your pipes are located can actually make a difference as to  whether they freeze or not. Here are some typical pipe locations:

Crawlspaces. If your home has a crawlspace under it, there is a good chance some of your water pipes are located down there.  Make sure you seal all the cracks that could let cold air into the crawlspace. Also, you can put insulation up between the floor joists so it  wraps around the water pipes.  

Exterior Walls. Sometimes, a home with a kitchen or bathroom sink on an outside wall may have pipes running in those walls. If you can access those areas, wrap your water pipes with a foam sleeve to protect them from the cold. On extremely cold nights, open the doors of your kitchen and bathroom cabinets so warm air can enter those spaces.

Drip, Drip, Drip – The Sound That You WANT to Hear

Usually, when you hear that dripping sound, that means something is wrong in your house. But in extreme freezing conditions, that dripping can be a good thing. If you see that the temperatures are going into a deep freeze, turn your faucets on to a slow drip. That will keep water flowing through your pipes and prevent them from freezing.

If your home is a two-story, turn on one of the faucets upstairs – preferably one that is on an outside wall. And don’t forget to leave those cabinet doors open.

These tips should help keep your pipes from freezing, and let you enjoy that nice ice cream cone while ice skating on a frozen pond – outside, of course, and not in your basement! For more helpful tips, be sure to follow the Getzschman Heating & Cooling blog.