Archive for February, 2014

Reasons to Replace Your Furnace with Ductless Heating

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Furnaces must use ducts in order to work: an air handler blows out the heated air from the furnace cabinet and distributes it throughout a home via the channels of the ductwork. However, you don’t need ducts to get quality home heating. With a ductless mini split heat pump, you can skip the ductwork entirely and still warm up your house the way you want it.

If your furnace is coming to the end of its service, you might consider replacing it with ductless heating in Huntsville, TX. Talk to our installers about ductless mini split systems at Ardon Maintenance today to learn if this is the best option for your home comfort.

Why Replace Your Furnace With a Ductless Mini Split Heat Pump?

  • Heating and cooling in one: Ductless heating systems are also ductless cooling systems. The heat pump that provides heating during cold weather can also switch into air conditioning mode during the summer. Two comfort problems solved in one unit.
  • Automatic zone heating: With a furnace, if you want zone control heating—separate control over the temperature in different sections of the house—you need to have special dampers installed into your ventilation system. But ductless systems use a series of individual blowers placed in different rooms, so they come already prepared for zone heating. You can shut off the blowers for rooms that don’t require heat, and people can adjust the local blowers for their own comfort.
  • Better air quality: Ducts are one of the main places in your home where dust and debris can start to gather. The forced air from the furnace will blow this dust into the air you breathe. Ductless systems remove this source of air contamination to improve indoor air quality. (And you no longer need to go through the hassle of cleaning the ducts.)
  • Energy savings: Because ductless mini splits are heat pumps, they do not need to burn any fuel to create heat. Instead, they use a small amount of electricity to power their components to move heat from one place to the other. Switching from a furnace to a heat pump can means savings of up to 30% off your heating bills.

So Why Doesn’t Everyone Have Ductless Heating?

All these advantages sound fantastic, but ductless heating isn’t right for every home. Heat pumps can have efficiency problems in extremely cold weather, and abandoning the existing ducts in a home isn’t always a cost-effective choice. It depends on your situation, and you should consult with a heating professional before you make a choice. Our professional HVAC specialists are standing by to help you decide if you should swap out that old furnace for a new ductless system.

Call up our HVAC specialists at Ardon Maintenance today and ask about ductless heating systems and our various heating services in Huntsville, TX.

Is Radiant Heating Right for My Madisonville Home?

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Radiant heating has gained great popularity in Europe because of the cozy, efficient, and quiet way it provides warmth in homes—especially in newly built homes, where the radiant heating system can be easily installed into the floors. Radiant heating is now gaining popularity in the U.S. as more people discover the comfort it provides and the savings that come with it.

You’re interested in radiant heating, but wonder if radiant heat in a Madisonville, TX home will work. You’ve come to the right place to ask questions: Ardon Maintenance specializes in installing radiant heating, and we can look over your home and ascertain if you’ll benefit from installation.

Call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our HVAC specialists and let us help you install a radiant heating system for your Madisonville home.

What Does Radiant Heating Involve?

In the general sense, “radiant heating” describes any heat that emanates from a hot object in electromagnetic waves. These waves travel without heating the air until they strike another solid object, and then transfer their heat to it. Old cast iron radiators attached to boilers warmed rooms with radiant heat.

However, in the HVAC world today, “radiant heating” refers to floor heating: either running heated water from a boiler through pipes set into the floor (hydronic) or using electric heating elements built into the floor (electric). Hydronic models are the most popular because they cost less to run; however, some homes may need electric floor heating installation as an alternate.

There are many reasons why floor heating is a good option. Because they lose much less heat than forced-air systems or even baseboard heaters, they work with enormous energy-saving efficiency. The distribution of heat is more even, since the heat rises from under your feet instead of getting blown out vents to gather at the ceiling. The operation is almost silent. And, subjectively, people seem to find radiant heat more “cozy,” like “being warmed by the sun.”

The drawback of radiant floor heating is the extent of installation. These systems are easier to install during new construction. This doesn’t mean that retro-fitting your home for radiant heating is impossible, however. But it does require you work closely with an installer to see what will work best for you.

Call For Specialists to Find Out Your Ideal Heating Option

Ardon Maintenance can answer any questions you have about installing radiant heat in Madisonville, TX. We have extensive experience with both new construction installation and retro-fitting homes. We also offer quality radiant heat maintenance and repair work. Even if radiant heating turns out not to be your best choice, we’ll have ideas for alternatives. Call us today.

Other Anniversaries of Valentine’s Day

Friday, February 14th, 2014

For more than a hundred years, people in countries around the world have marked the 14th day of February as a time for lovers to give each other gifts and for children to write cards to each other and eat heart-shaped candy. But Valentine’s Day isn’t the only important event to occur on February 14th. There are many other anniversaries to mark on this day. Here are a few:

1400 – The death of King Richard II: The same English king whose engagement resulted in the first love poem mentioning Valentine’s Day (from court poet Geoffrey Chaucer) dies in prison in Pontefract Castle after his cousin Henry overthrows him. He probably starved to death, although another famous author, William Shakespeare, would portray his death as murder.

1859 – Hello, Oregon: The Oregon Country is admitted to the United States of America as the 33rd state.

1876 – Who invented the telephone? Alexander Graham Bell applies for a patent for his new invention, the telephone. Another inventor, Elisha Gray, applies the same day for a similar device, sparking a long controversy over who invented what first.

1912 – Hello, Arizona: Continuing the statehood tradition that Oregon established, the Territory of Arizona is admitted to the U.S. as the 48th state. Women are granted the right to vote in Arizona the same year, eight years before the rest of the nation.

1929 – The world’s most infamous mob hit: Unknown assailants shoot down seven people in Chicago, IL. Six of the dead are gangsters in the mob of Bugs Moran, an enemy of Al Capone in the business of selling Prohibition bootleg liquor. No one is ever arrested or charged for the crime—but there isn’t much doubt who masterminded it.

1931 – “I am… Dracula”: The most influential vampire movie ever made, and the start of Universal Studio’s famous monsters series, Dracula starring Bela Lugosi, premieres in theaters. Universal cannily uses Valentine’s Day to promote the film as “The Story of the Strangest Passion the World Has Ever Known!”

1961 – The Periodic Table becomes larger: The 103rd chemical element, Lawrencium, is discovered at the University of California. The name comes from the laboratory where it is synthesized, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

2005 – Now it’s easy to watch funny animal videos: A group of college students launch a video sharing website call YouTube.

Even if Valentine’s Day itself isn’t a major holiday for you, February 14th has many reasons to celebrate—unless you are a member of Bugs Moran’s gang or a supporter of Richard II. All of us at Ardon Maintenance would like to wish you a happy Valentine’s Day, however you observe it.

Heat Pump Repair Issues: Why Your House Is Too Cold

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Heat pumps are fantastic ways of keeping your home warm during a Texas winter. Since the only serious drawback heat pumps have is a possible loss of heating ability due to sub-freezing temperatures, it’s rare for a heat pump in Texas to encounter much trouble providing the heat levels necessary for a cozy season.

If you find that your house is too cold even though the heat pump is still humming away and blowing out air, then the problem almost certainly a malfunction of some kind. When this happens, call on Ardon Maintenance for your heat pump repair needs in Huntsville, TX.

Here are the most common reasons for a heat pump not warming your home:

  • A broken reversing valve: The critical component that makes a heat pump different from a standard air conditioner is the reversing valve. This electrically controlled valve sits on the refrigerant line and alters the direction the refrigerant flows through the unit: one direction for heating, the other for air conditioning. If the valve malfunctions, your heat pump can become stuck in AC mode even though you need heat. If your house is cold and the air coming from the vents seems as if it is cooled, then the issue is likely the reversing valve, and you will need to call a technician to replace it.
  • Thermostat troubles: A thermostat that begins to read the wrong temperatures in your home (“ghost readings”) will cause your heat pump to begin to turn on and off at the incorrect times, resulting in a cold house and uneven heating. Ghost readings can occur because of poor thermostat placement (a thermostat sitting in direct sunlight will register a warmer temperature and keep the heating off) or a miscalibration. More malfunctions that may require replacement of the unit could be causing it.
  • Refrigerant loss: Flowing through your heat pump is a chemical blend called refrigerant, which is responsible for the heat exchange that makes your heat pump provide cooling and warmth. The refrigerant is at a set amount—known as its “charge”—which does not lessen during normal operation. But if leaks occur, the refrigerant loss will hinder the heat exchange and you will not get sufficient heating from your heat pump. (Or cooling in AC mode.) Professionals will locate the leaks, seal them, and recharge the refrigerant.

Heat pump repair requires years of training as well as specialized tools; you cannot expect to fix these problems on your own. When your house feels too cold even though your heat pump is running, you must bring in an expert in heat pump repair in Huntsville, TX to locate the source of the malfunction and repair it accurately.

And when you need those repairs fast, call on Ardon Maintenance: we not only have skilled technicians on staff, but they’re ready 24-hours a day for emergency service.