How Is Radiant Heating Different from Other Types of Heating?

December 10th, 2014

For many decades, the most common type of heating system in homes was the furnace. Furnaces use forced air to distribute warmth throughout a building. The main alternative to a furnace is a boiler, which uses hot water sent to terminal points within a building—such as cast iron radiators or baseboard heaters—to raise the temperature of an object in the room in order to provide it with warmth. This kind of heating is known as radiant heating.

Today, radiant heating covers a variety of systems. Standard boiler set-ups that connect the hot water pipes to baseboard heaters are still common, but another option available is radiant hydronic floor heating, where water heated in the boiler runs through pipes installed inside the floor, raising the temperature of the floorboards and warming the room from below.

If you are curious about installation of radiant heating in Nyack, NY or the surrounding areas, call Design Air Inc and speak to our heating professionals. We will help you find the ideal of heating for your household.

What Makes Radiant Heating Different

Heat moves, or transfers, in three ways: convection, conduction, and radiation. Convection heating is how furnaces and heat pumps distribute their warmth. The definition of convection is “the transfer of heat between an object and its environment due to fluid motion.” Air, which is a type of fluid, carries the heat from a furnace or heat pump and spreads it through a room.

Radiation, on the other hand, is the transfer of heat from the movement of charged particles. The temperature of an object increases, and it gives off waves of charged particles that travel until they strike another surface, such as a person, and raise its temperature in turn. The space in between the two objects does not receive heat.

Radiant heating for a home does not require any fans or blowers to send out warmth, only hot water raising the temperature of floorboards, radiators, or baseboard heaters. (Baseboard heaters create a natural convection current from the rise and fall of heat, however.) One of the advantages of using this form of heating is that it does not require any air ducts. This eliminates the heat loss that occurs along ductwork, and also allows for cleaner air free from the dust and dirt particles that often collect inside ducts.

Radiant heating also spreads more evenly than convection heating does. The air blown out from a vent connected to a furnace or heat pump will rise to the top of a room and gather there, taking longer to spread through the room. Radiant heating moves in all directions and reaches the spaces of rooms much faster.

Because there are a variety of ways that you can have radiant heating in Nyack, NY for your house, you should consult with professionals first before making any decision. Design Air Inc has experience with many types of radiant heating systems, so make us your first choice when you want the best quality warmth for your house.

What Are “Wet” Radiant Floor Installations?

December 3rd, 2014

There are several options you have when it comes to installing radiant floor heating in Nyack, both in type of radiant heating you use and how it’s installed. Understanding your options helps ensure that you choose a type and method of installation that will work best for you and your home. The trained experts at Design Air, Inc., have installed numerous radiant flooring systems, and can help you with yours. If you are ready to install a new radiant heating system, call us today!

Types of Radiant Flooring

There are two types of radiant flooring:

  • Electric
  • Hydronic

Electric radiant flooring heats your floor by electrifying cables. These cables can be installed in 3 ways:

  • Installed directly to subfloor – the cables are installed directly to the subfloor, usually in a specific pattern.
  • Installed as a mat – the electric cables are woven into a mat of electrically-conductive plastic; the matting is then installed to subflooring or mounted directly underneath your surface floor.
  • Wet installation – with a wet installation, the cables are laid into wet cement; when the cement hardens, the dried cement slab acts as a radiant slab when the cables are electrified.

Hydronic radiant flooring uses hot water or steam to heat your home. Utilizing flexible PEX tubing, hydronic radiant flooring can be installed in two ways: either mounted underneath your flooring or by wet installation. Like electric cables, the PEX tubing is laid in wet cement, creating a cement slab when the cement dries.

Benefits of a Wet Installation

There are a couple of benefits of wet installation worth considering:

  • Protection of the tubing or cable – because the tubing or electric cables are embedded in concrete, each is afforded a level of protection from potential damage.
  • Acts as a heating slab – the concrete slab acts as a radiant slab when used with radiant heating, adding additional heating power to your home.

Radiant heating is a step-by-step process that requires expertise to ensure that your home heats correctly. The professionals at Design Air, Inc., have the knowledge and experience to install any radiant heating system, so give us a call today!

10 Facts You Should Know about Thanksgiving

November 27th, 2014

Thanksgiving has been celebrated as an official holiday in the United States for over 150 years, so you may think you understand all there is to know about this family feast. Most of us have heard the story of the pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving in 1621 after arriving in North America on the Mayflower. But did you know that only about half of the people on this ship were actually pilgrims? This fact is one of ten things that may actually surprise you about the Thanksgiving tradition!

  1. Although we often consider Thanksgiving a holiday unique to the United States, many other countries and cultures celebrate their own set of harvest-time and thanksgiving traditions. In Korea, Chu-Sok (or “fall evening”) is put on in remembrance of forefathers on August 15th of every year. Brazil celebrates a contemporary version of the U.S. holiday. Chinese, Roman, and Jewish cultures all have a history of harvest celebrations as well.
  2. President Harry S. Truman began the tradition of a ceremony held before Thanksgiving during which the president receives a turkey. George H.W. Bush was the first to pardon the turkey instead of eating it.
  3. In Minnesota alone, farmers raise over 40 million turkeys a year. In fact, U.S. farmers produce about one turkey for every one person in the country.
  4. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the average American will gain about one to two pounds every year during the holiday season.
  5. On the other hand, turkey is naturally high in protein and has been known to support and boost immune systems to protect against illness and speed up healing. So feast on!
  6. Abraham Lincoln issued a “Thanksgiving Proclamation” in 1863, but a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale can be credited with the idea. While Thanksgiving had been celebrated at different times of year in many areas of the U.S. for years, it was Hale, prominent magazine editor and author of the rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” who urged Lincoln to finally establish the national event.
  7. President Franklin D Roosevelt once tried to change the date of Thanksgiving to the second-to-last Thursday of the month in order to extend the holiday shopping season and boost the economy.
  8. Only about half of the people on the Mayflower were what we would consider today as “Pilgrims.” The other (approximately) 50 people were simply trying to find a way over to the New World.
  9. Gobble, gobble! Click, click? While male turkeys make a gobbling noise, females (hens) do not; it’s often described as a clicking.
  10. Even though we celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November, the month of June has been declared National Turkey Lovers’ Month by the National Turkey Federation so you can continue the celebration in the summer as well!

From our family here at Design Air Inc., we’d like to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Why You Should Consider a Gas Fireplace Installation

November 19th, 2014

If you’ve been looking for a way to supplement your home heating, you may want to consider the installation of a gas fireplace in Pomona. With a wide variety of styles to choose from, you can select a gas fireplace that complements your décor while also providing great supplemental heat. Because natural gas can be a hazardous fuel to work with, it’s very important to hire professionals for any gas fireplace installation. The experts at Design Air, Inc., have the training and certification to work on any type of heating installation, including gas fireplace inserts, so call us today!

What to Expect Before Installation

It’s important to make sure that your chimney and fireplace are equipped for usage with a gas fireplace insert. This is why, as part of our gas fireplace installation services, your Design Air, Inc. technician will thoroughly inspect your fireplace, chimney and flue before installation. If any problems are detected, you’ll be notified and given the suggestions for repairing the issues. Inspection is important so that there is no risk of backdrafting or the potential for carbon monoxide leaking into your home.

Advantages of a Gas Fireplace Installation

Once your fireplace and chimney are cleared for installation, you can see the following benefits from a gas fireplace:

  • Convenience – with the simple push of a button, you have a fire with a gas fireplace. There’s no need for wood or lighting it yourself.
  • Many options – as mentioned above, there are many options when it comes to choosing a type of gas fireplace. You may want a custom fireplace or pre-fabricated one; you may want masonry or something more modern; and you have a choice of vented or ventless.
  • Less combustion byproducts – gas is the cleanest-burning fossil fuel, and is very clean when compared to burning wood. You’ll still need to have an annual inspection and chimney sweep, but the creosote build-up with a gas fireplace is considerably less than a wood burning one.

A gas fireplace in Pomona can offer you the ambiance of a burning fireplace with convenience, comfort and energy efficiency. If you are interested in a gas fireplace, call Design Air, Inc. today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

Common Electric Furnace Repairs

November 12th, 2014

Electric furnaces have come a long way, and are viable options for many homeowners. But like other home heating systems, electric furnaces will need repair, and when yours does, it’s important to call an expert. There are some common types of repairs our Design Air Inc technicians see with electric furnaces in Sloatsburg, as we’ll outline below:

Blower Problems

The warm air from your furnace is blown through your ductwork via a large fan known as the blower. Common blower problems include issues with the motor, electrical problems such as faulty wiring or capacitor issues, and problems with faulty limit switches. Blower problems can result in too little, or no, heating in your home, so it’s important to call for a technician as soon as you become aware of an issue with your blower.

Electrical Issues

An electrical furnace needs to have access to a large amount of electricity in order to work properly. If there are issues with the circuitry, the circuit breaker, or components like relays or wiring, your system can malfunction or breakdown. Unless you have extensive knowledge of electricity and electrical systems, it is strongly advised that you call an expert for help.

Low Air Flow

If the volume of air you feel blowing into your home is low, there are two main reasons for this: blower issues, which we discussed above, or a clogged air filter. Clogged air filters can seriously restrict air flow in your system, reducing the volume and putting a stress on your furnace. If your air filter is clogged, replacing it can help restore the air flow in your system to normal.

Thermostat Problems

Your thermostat controls when your furnace starts and stops. If it malfunctions, it can prevent your furnace from operating correctly. Excessive dirt and dust can coat the instrumentation inside the thermostat, which interferes with its ability to work properly. The wiring of a thermostat can corrode, causing connection issues. Thermostat issues aren’t the most serious, but they do need to be repaired before they can cause damage to your system.

Furnaces are complicated machines, and electric furnaces required expert knowledge of electricity and electrical components. If you are experiencing a problem with your furnace and in need of a furnace repair service in Sloatsburg, call Design Air Inc and schedule a repair appointment with one of our experts.

What Special Advantages Do Boilers Offer Me for Heating?

November 5th, 2014

Boiler-based heating systems have been around for a very long time. They’ve changed in some pretty incredible ways over the decades, but the general principles have remained the same. So, what can a boiler system offer you that other systems can’t? Read on to find out.

Radiant Heating

Practically all boiler systems involve some form of radiant heating. Radiant heating involves the installation of water pipes throughout the space you want heated. These pipes are often installed in the walls or subfloor of a room. Occasionally, these pipes will terminate in a terminal, like a cast-iron radiator or a baseboard heater. The boiler then heats water, and pumps it through these pipes throughout the house.

The principle at work for all radiant heating systems is more or less the same. As the hot water flows through the pipes, heat radiates from them and into the room. If there are terminal points being used, they will be the primary heat distributors. Otherwise, the pipes in the floors and walls will radiate heat into the room directly. This is essentially how all boiler-based systems work.

Advantages

There are a few really great advantages associated with boiler-based systems. The number one advantage is energy efficiency. Two factors contribute to the boiler being a much more efficient heater than other systems, especially forced air. The first is that water is a much better thermal conductor than air is. The second is that forced air systems tend to lose 20-30% of their heat on average to duct leaks. So, not only does radiant heating use a better heating medium, but it also uses a better delivery system. This means that it can deliver much more heat to the desired area.

Because radiant heating relies on transmitting thermal energy through solid objects, it manages to much more evenly heat the room than forced air systems. Warm air rises to the top of a room and descend as it cools, which creates cold spots. Radiant heating transmits heat from the floor upwards, keeping the room evenly heated for a greater period of time.

If you’re thinking about upgrading to a boiler system, call Design Air Inc to schedule an appointment. We install boilers throughout the Monsey, NY area.

Is a Generator Really Worth It?

October 29th, 2014

Do you like burst pipes, spoiled food and being without heat? Of course not, but this is what you can face with a significant power outage. While many power outages are resolved fairly quickly, there are outages where you could be out of power for days. In fact, approximately 3.5 million people are left without power every week in America, some for extended periods of time. One of the best ways to ensure that your home keeps on running during a power outage is to install a whole-home generator in Pomona. There are several options when it comes to choosing a whole-home generator, and enlisting the help of a trained professional ensures you’ll get a generator that is right for your needs. The electrical experts at Design Air Inc can help you choose and install a generator in Pomona, NY that is best for you, so call them today.

Generator Choices

Generators can run on a few different fuels and come in varying sizes. The most common fuel choices are:

  • Natural gas
  • Propane
  • Diesel

Generator size varies widely, but the typical range for a whole-home generator is 22 kilowatts per hour to 48 kilowatts per hour. Additionally, whole-home generators can be outfitted with an automatic transfer switch, enabling them to activate automatically when the power goes out, and making their operation seamless and convenient.

Benefits of a Home Generator

Here are some of the benefits that a whole-home generator can offer:

  • Automatic start-up – generators that switch on automatically come with a sensor that alerts the generator when the power has gone out. When an outage occurs, your generator automatically turns on, keeping the power in your home going with only seconds of interruption.
  • Keeps your home operational – a whole-home generator will keep your home operational for as long as you need it with adequate fuel supply, helping you to avoid food spoilage or damage from freezing pipes.
  • Very safe – unlike with a portable generator, there are no extension cords to trip over with a whole-home generator.

Regardless of the weather outside, having access to power is a priority. Call Design Air Inc., today and schedule an appointment to see how a generator can help your home in Pomona, NY.

What Is a Pellet Stove and What Are Its Advantages?

October 22nd, 2014

Adding a supplemental heat source to your home, such as a fireplace or wood stove, can go a long way toward lowering your heating bills during the winter. Pellet stoves, relatively new to the residential market, have become very popular over the last few years. Using compressed pellets made of recycled wood materials, pellet stoves can help heat a room or a whole floor, depending on their size; it also isn’t necessary to have a fireplace in Springfield to install one. If you are looking for a way to significantly supplement your heating, you may want to consider the installation of a pellet stove by a specialist from Design Air, Inc.

How Does a Pellet Stove Work?

Pellet stoves heat via convection. Convection heat describes the way heat moves through gases, including air. Pellets stoves heat this way because they blow the hot air generated in the stove into your living space. Here are the main components in a pellet stove:

  • Hopper – space that holds the pellets
  • Auger – large turning device that looks like a screw
  • Burn pot – where the pellets land, ignite and burn
  • Ash pan – pan where the ash drops
  • Heat exchanger – metal tubes that conduct the heat energy from the flame; the insides of the tubes hold the toxic fumes that are exhausted outside
  • Combustion fan – draws in the cool air from your living space that helps ignite the pellets in the burn pot
  • Convection fan – blows the warm air into your living space from the heat exchanger

The cycle starts when the pellet stove is turned on either by its thermostat or via a button on the back of the stove; pellet stoves require a small amount of electricity to operate. The auger feeds a small amount of pellets into the burn pot while the combustion fan draws air into the stove to help with ignition. A small, hot electrical igniter warms the bottom of the pot until the pellets light. The auger continues to feed pellets into the burn pot until the flame reaches the correct temperature, as assessed by a small sensor that is attached to the rim of the burn pot. The heat exchanger warms with the rising temperature of the burn pot, and once the correct temperature is reached, the convection fan will blow the warm air into your home as the toxic fumes are exhausted from the system through your chimney.

Benefits of a Pellet Stove

  • Convenience – managing the bags of pellets can be easier for many people, and the average burning time for one bag is 8-10 hours. This means you only have to load the hopper twice a day.
  • No smoke – pellet stoves do not produce smoke, so you don’t have to deal with smoky rooms or a smoky smell.
  • Low ash – the ash content of a pellet stove is significantly lower than a wood stove, and can be easily cleaned with a vacuum.
  • Outside doesn’t get hot – unlike a wood stove, pellet stoves are insulated all the way around, making the stove itself (not the glass) safe to touch during operation.

If you have been looking for a supplemental heat source that is convenient and easy to use, a pellet stove for your fireplace in Spring Valley may be just what you need. Call Design Air, Inc., today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

Is a Heat Pump Sufficient for My Home Comfort This Year?

October 15th, 2014

Heat pumps can be great systems for both heating and cooling, but there can be some concern that a heat pump may not be able to effectively heat or cool a home. The best way to ascertain whether or not a heat pump is sufficient for your heating and cooling needs is to understand how a heat pump works. The technicians at Design Air, Inc., have put together a description below to help you understand how a heat pump both heats and cools, and if it can provide you with the heating and cooling you need in Nanuet, NY.

How a Heat Pump Works

Heat pumps use refrigerant to facilitate the transfer of heat from one area to another. Heat pumps do not use fossil fuels to create cooling or heating; they only use a small amount of electricity to operate the pump. During the summer, the heat inside your home is absorbed by the heat pump and transferred outside; in the winter, the heat pump absorbs the heat from the outdoors, concentrates it in the heat exchanger, and then transfers it to your home.

Types of Heat Pumps

There are several types of heat pumps. Below are the types Design Air, Inc., carries:

  • Air-source heat pump – this is the most common kind of heat pump. Air-source heat pumps transfer heat between your home and the outside air. Because of this, air-source heat pumps are best used in climates in which the temperature does not drop below 32 degrees.
  • Ductless heating (and cooling) – ductless heating and cooling offers homes without ductwork the ability to cool as well as heat. In addition, the indoor blowers operate individually, allowing you to have customized heating and cooling.
  • Geothermal/ground-source heat pumps – ground-source heat pumps are part of a geothermal system. With geothermal systems, the heating for your home comes from harnessing the steady temperature of the Earth just below the frost line. Using a ground loop, heat is transferred in during the winter to the heat pump, which is inside your home. The heat is concentrated, then delivered to your living spaces. During the summer, the heat from the indoors is transferred into the ground via the ground loop.

All heat pumps are very energy efficient and provide very comfortable heating and cooling. If you think a heat pump is a good fit for you, call Design Air, Inc., today and schedule a heating installation for your home in Nanuet with one of our installation experts.

What Does Hydronic Radiant Heating Involve?

October 8th, 2014

Hydronic radiant heating is a great way not only to heat your home, but to do so efficiently. It is not a new technology, but recent improvements to the system have resulted in an increase in popularity across the country. Read on to discover the processes involved with radiant heating, as well as some of the system’s advantages.

Installation

The first step to installing a radiant heating system is choosing a good boiler. Once the boiler is in place, small watertight pipes are installed between the floor and subfloor of each room you want heated. These pipes all lead back to the boiler. It is important to note that installing hydronic radiant heating often involves temporarily tearing up the floor. The exception is if you have access to the subfloor from below, like a basement or large crawl space. If you are having a house built, this obviously won’t be a problem.

Operation

Once everything is installed properly, you’re ready to begin using your radiant heating system. When the system is turned on, the boiler heats water to be circulated. The hot water is then pumped through the pipes in the floor of each room. Heat radiates from these pipes, up through the floor and into the room.

Advantages

There are a number of distinct advantages to hydronic radiant heating. Water is a much better medium for transporting heat than air is. As a result, radiant heating can deliver more heat to each room than a forced air system can. The special watertight pipes used are also far more resistant to leaks than ductwork is, making them a more efficient delivery system. Finally, radiant heating more evenly heats a room than forced air does.

Forced air systems blow warm air into a room, which rises to the ceiling instead of sinking to the level that people can benefit from it. This means that the room requires more heat before people actually feel the effects. Radiant heating distributes thermal energy directly through the floor. The heat doesn’t immediately rise out of reach, and has the added benefit of transferring heat to things like furniture. This makes the room more comfortable for a longer period of time.

If you are thinking about installing a hydronic radiant heating system, call Design Air Inc to schedule service. We provide professional radiant heating installation throughout the Suffern area.