Is a Heat Pump Installation Sufficient for My Needs?

February 25th, 2015

Among your options for heating installation in Anderson, OH is a heat pump. Unlike other popular types of heaters, such as furnaces, heat pumps are capable of serving the dual function of also cooling down a home. If this makes a heat pump sound immediately appealing to you, then please give our technicians at RineAir Heating & Air Conditioning a call. A heat pump may be just the right new installation to provide your home and family with year-round comfort.

However, a heat pump is not always the best choice for an individual home. Although heat pumps are extremely effective when it comes to working as air conditioners, they can sometimes experience trouble when it comes to heating in some situations. The reason for this is that heat pumps work through the process of heat exchange: the system draws ambient heat out of the air through refrigerant coils and then shifts the heat to another set of coils where it releases it. In cooling mode, a heat pump absorbs this heat from the indoor air, providing lower temperatures inside. When a heat pump switches over to heating mode, it draws the heat from the outdoor air and brings it inside.

This immediately brings up the question in people’s minds: “If I run the heat pump in heating mode during the winter, how is it drawing heat from the cold outdoor air?” The answer is that there is always some ambient heat in the air, no matter how cold it gets outside. If there molecular motion exists, then heat exists. Heat pumps do not experience difficulty drawing effective levels of heat from outside when the temperature is still above freezing. As the temperature drops below freezing, a heat pump may begin to perform less efficiently, although it will still provide heat.

Whether a heat pump will work for your specific needs is something you need to take up with heating and cooling professionals. They will perform a heat load calculation for your home to determine the level of heating it needs for comfort, and then figure out if a heat pump can match these requirements.

The heating and cooling technicians at RineAir Heating & Air Conditioning are here to assist you when it’s time for a new heating installation in Anderson, OH. If you are interested in a heat pump for your home, give us a call and we will set up an appointment to find the ideal new unit to serve your needs. No matter what heating system you eventually have put in, you can trust us to deliver excellent service.

When Should I Install a New Heating System?

February 16th, 2015

The decision whether to install a new heating system or not can be a tough one. After all, you’re going to have to deal with a pretty sizeable upfront cost that you wouldn’t have to otherwise. Then there’s the inconvenience of scheduling an appointment, and having the old system torn out and the new one installed. However, you know as well as anyone that your old heating system can’t last forever. Sooner or later, you will need to replace it with a new one. Let’s take a look at some of the signs that you need to install a new heating system.

Rise in Repairs

Even newer systems need a repair every once in a while. It’s impossible to completely protect against the occasional random problem, after all. However, older systems will start to need repairs more and more often as their various parts wear out. This problem is compounded by the fact that older systems use parts that are often no longer manufactured, making repairs difficult and costly. If your heating system keeps breaking down, you should consider installing a new one.

Rise in Operating Cost

As a heating system gets older, its parts will begin to wear out. Before they actually break, however, they will slowly lose their ability to fulfill their roles properly. This decreases the efficiency of the heating system by forcing it to work longer to maintain the same heat output. The extra energy spent is passed on to your heating bill, causing a consistent rise in operating cost from month to month. Your heating bill should rise and fall between months as your demand for heat fluctuates. If you notice your heating bill start to rise consistently, however, it may be time to replace your heating system.

Age

Most every issue that necessitates replacing an old heating system has to do with its age. For that reason, if your heating system is older than 15 years you should consider options for replacing it. If your heating system is younger than that, you can probably get a few more years of use out of it. Of course, it’s best to consult with a professional before making any permanent decisions.

If you think you need to install a new heating system, call RineAir Heating & Air Conditioning. We provide professional heating installation services throughout Cincinnati, OH.

Some of the Unusual Movies Released for Valentine’s Day

February 14th, 2015

Hollywood has always tried to match movies up to the seasons to draw droves of viewers to the theaters: October is packed with fright-offerings, while the winter holidays skew toward warm and pleasing family films (as well as Oscar hopefuls). Valentine’s Day falls in an odd spot when it comes to the movie release calendar, however, since February tends to be a slower time for the film industry. The studios are as likely to slot strange movies that don’t fit anywhere else in their annual schedules into the Valentine’s Day weekend as they are films with powerful romantic appeal.

So, while the second weekend of February has featured hugely successful romantic comedies like Hitch, The Wedding Singer, and (of course) Valentine’s Day, some truly weird choices have debuted in this weekend as well. And a few have even gone on to tremendous success despite the bizarre match with the holiday. Here are a couple of the odder Valentine’s Day movie releases:

  • Dracula (1931): Yes, this Halloween perennial and the start of Universal Studio’s Classic Monsters actually came out on Valentine’s Day! But perhaps this makes some sense, as the Dracula legend has often received a “doomed lover” approach in the many years since Bela Lugosi made the aristocratic vampire a screen icon.
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991): Does any film seem less appropriate for Valentine’s Day than this unnerving and sometimes very violent psychological thriller? What’s even more astonishing than the film’s release date is that The Silence of the Lambs eventually nabbed the Oscar for Best Picture, an almost unheard of occurrence for a movie released so early in the year.
  • Daredevil (2003): This Marvel comic adaptation featuring Ben Affleck as a blind superhero does contain a romantic subplot, but the stronger connection to Valentine’s Day may just be that Daredevil wears a bright red costume.
  • A Good Day to Die Hard (2013): The least successful of the Die Hard film franchise, this is an excellent example of a studio dropping a film into a weekend where it doesn’t fit in the hopes that it works as counter-programming. (It didn’t.)
  • Wayne’s World (1992): Now here is an example of counter-programming that clicked with audiences. This comedy based on a Saturday Night Live sketch turned into one of that year’s biggest hits and spawned a sequel.

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day with a trip to the movie theater, or you have your own special plans, everyone here at RineAir hopes you and your loved ones have a wonderful weekend.

Is My Boiler in Danger of Rusting?

February 5th, 2015

If you have a boiler that you rely on for home or commercial heating, you know that it’s one of the most comfortable methods of delivering heat. Boilers are not like forced air heating systems that warm the air before pushing it out into your home. Instead, a boiler is a tank of hot water with a piping system that leads to various areas of your home. In each room, there may be a terminal unit for heat delivery—like a radiator or a baseboard unit—or there may be an in-floor piping system for radiant floor heating.

Boilers have been around for many years, and a long time ago, rusting was a major concern. And it still is, to an extent. If you’ve had a boiler in your home for a very long time, there’s a much higher risk for rusting than with a new one. Rust can lead to corrosion and holes that may force you to replace the entire tank prematurely. The only things that must be present in order for rust to form are oxygen, water, and iron or any of its alloys. Since water and steel come into contact frequently within a boiler system, it seems as though a boiler would be prone to rusting. However, most manufacturers take preventive measures against rust and corrosion, so it’s rarely a problem with newer boilers.

First of all, boilers are kept sealed tight so that air cannot get in. There is an expansion tank that provides somewhat of an air cushion so that water can expand as needed. However, most modern expansion tanks have a rubber diaphragm that helps maintain low oxygen levels. And if the expansion tank does begin to rust, only this part will need heating repair or replacement. However, a major concern is that condensation will form on the outside of the tank and corrosion will begin to take place. But the high operating temperature of a hot water boiler generally keeps this from happening.

There is always the chance that something can go wrong and that your boiler will rust anyway. This may be due to poor installation, flooding, or leaks inside of the home that affect the boiler unit. Or, it could be that the return temperature of the water is too low, allowing condensate to form anyway. A boiler that is at risk of corroding, or one that has already begun to develop holes, will likely need replacement. But if it’s caught early enough, you may only need to replace a single part.

For professional heating repair in Anderson, look to the experts at RineAir Heating & Air Conditioning, who are committed to quality work, respect, and honesty about the state of your heating equipment. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.

How to Keep Your Furnace Working Safely

January 30th, 2015

Your furnace may be a remarkably sturdy heating system, as most furnaces are. However, it will not stay healthy or live a long life if you neglect to take care of it. Furnaces that don’t receive proper care and maintenance tend not to last long, incurring all sorts of problems and repair needs before being replaced altogether sooner than they could have been. If you’d like your furnace to last as long as possible, there are a few things you can try. Read on to find out how to keep your furnace working safely.

Clean Your Air Filter

The air filter is a part installed in the air return duct of your furnace. It is designed to catch any dust and debris that might blow out of the ducts and into the furnace. If not cleaned or replaced every 1-3 months, however, the air filter can become so clogged that it restricts air flow into the furnace. This can trap heat inside the furnace, causing it to overheat. Cleaning or replacing your air filter is really easy, but if you don’t know how to do it you can have any HVAC technician do it for you.

Schedule Annual Maintenance

It is never a good idea to just leave your furnace alone until it presents some sort of problem. Preventive maintenance is just as important, if not more so, than reparative maintenance. It is a good idea to have your furnace receive regular maintenance at least once a year, ideally during the fall season. This can identify any problems before they progress to being more severe, as well as ensure that your furnace can stand the increased strain of heating during the winter season. Annual maintenance will save you money, and help your furnace to last a long time.

Call a Professional if you Suspect a Problem

As with most problems, the longer you ignore a problem with your furnace, the worse it’s likely to get. If you think your furnace has a problem between annual appointments, don’t wait to call an HVAC professional. The faster you react to a problem with your furnace, the more likely it will be fixed before becoming more severe.

If you’d like to know more or want to schedule a service, call RineAir Heating & Air Conditioning. We provide professional furnace repair in the Cincinnati area.

Are Geothermal Systems Prone to Leaking?

January 22nd, 2015

Geothermal systems are the most efficient heating and cooling systems available and because they have few moving parts, are not prone to a lot of repair. However, one major concern regarding repairs to geothermal system is leaking from the ground loop. The good news is that geothermal systems are not prone to leaking; secondly, should a leak develop with your geothermal ground loop, there is a way technicians can detect it fairly easily.

Durable Tubing

The first reason geothermal systems aren’t prone to developing leaks is that the tubing is very durable: it is made of a high density polyethylene material that is extremely durable but also allows heat to transfer easily. The average lifespan of a ground loop is 25-50 years, so it’s safe to say that ground loops are made to withstand the elements. Additionally, all joints are fused, strengthening the loop throughout.

Leak Detection

In the case of a geothermal loop leak, the entire loop doesn’t have to be extracted from your yard. The process for detecting a leak in a geothermal loop is quite simple: a technician will inject dye into the loop and wait for it to circulate; once the dye reaches the leak, the solution from the loop, with the dye, bubbles to the surface of your yard. A couple of days after injecting the dye, the technician will inspect your yard for the dye so he/she knows where to dig. Once the dye is found, he/she will dig down, seal the leak, and re-cover the loop.

If you have concerns about your geothermal loop leaking, it’s good to be aware of the signs that can indicate a leak has developed:

  • Soggy/wet spots in your yard where loop is buried
  • Noticeable decrease in performance
  • Problems with the heat pump

Geothermal repairs require expertise; as such, any kind of repair to your geothermal system should always be handled by a professional with training and experience. For professional geothermal system services in Anderson, call RineAir Heating & Air Conditioning today to schedule an appointment with us.

How to Tell You Need New Heat Pump Installation

January 14th, 2015

Finding out that your heat pump is failing may not be an ideal situation, but it’s better to know now than to find out after it has broken down. When a heat pump reaches a certain age, the parts can deteriorate to the point that they no longer function properly. And when your heat pump is not in peak shape, there is always a chance that it can break down entirely without the possibility of repair. Replacing a heat pump as it nears the end of its life can save you money overall. Even if it seems like the initial cost is high, the satisfaction of saving money from month to month with one of the most efficient systems for heating and AC is worth it.

Contact the friendly technicians at RineAir Heating & Air Conditioning to discuss the state of your unit and decide whether a new heat pump is your best option for saving money and achieving noticeably improved heating and cooling results in your home.

  • Frequent Repairs: When you seem to be making repairs at least once every year, your unit may be giving out. The cost of replacing a coil here and sealing a leak there can really add up, and you would save more money replacing the entire system at once than by repairing each component piece-by-piece.
  • Old Age: At a certain point, your heat pump simply becomes too old to operate as effectively as it once did. You may notice parts beginning to fail or it may be that you just don’t get the same level of heating and cooling power as before. Generally, if your heat pump is over 15 years old, it’s time to give some serious consideration to a new one.
  • High Energy Bills: Energy bills can skyrocket if the parts of your system begin to break down. Your system becomes overworked and all of the parts need more energy to run, which is especially troublesome as heat pumps are some of the most efficient HVAC systems out there. High utilities are most likely a warning sign that your older unit is struggling too much.

Call RineAir Heating & Air Conditioning and speak with one of our trained professionals to help you decide whether it’s time to install a new heat pump in Cincinnati.

Duct Tape: It Isn’t for Duct Sealing!

January 7th, 2015

You must contact HVAC professionals to have sealing done whenever your ductwork develops air leaks. Without proper sealing, the ducts of a ventilation system will permit air pressure to drop, which will result in poor comfort throughout your home and an inefficient heating and cooling system that will drive up your bills—often by 30%. In addition to these problems, leaking ducts will also permit dust, dirt, and other contaminants to infiltrate the ventilation system, lowering your indoor air quality.

However, homeowners sometimes believe that professionals are unnecessary for duct sealing jobs. The reason: duct tape! Duct tape is readily available in stores, and most homes will have at least one roll of it lying around. Why not use the duct tape on the ducts? It makes sense, doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, the name “duct tape” is inaccurate and responsible for this misunderstanding. Any ductwork professional will tell you that you should never use duct tape on actual ducts. Call for the indoor air quality experts at RineAir Heating & Air Conditioning when you need duct sealing in Anderson, OH, and we will handle the skilled work necessary to restore your ventilation system.

What’s Wrong With Duct Tape? It Works for Everything Else

Duct tape is a near-universal adhesive tape that can take care of multiple jobs. However, work on ducts is not one of them. It was during the 1950s that the name “duct tape” became misapplied to this cloth-backed adhesive that was once called “duck tape” (possibly because it was made of duck cloth, or perhaps because its water-resistant properties are similar to those of duck feathers). Actual “duct tape”—the kind that repair professionals use—is metallic and can hold up to the temperature changes within ductwork, something store-bought duct tape cannot. Heat quickly degrades the glue on the tape, causing it to fall off after only a short time.

A recent laboratory test at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has borne out how ineffectual duct tape is at fixing its namesake. Only one duct tape product out of the 19 tested survived for longer than three months when used on ducts with standard heat levels inside them; 11 of those duct tapes failed within only days. Those aren’t good odds!

The short version of this: if you want to have duct sealing done right, don’t do it yourself. RineAir Heating & Air Conditioning is here to take care of the job for you with our team of professionals equipped with the best tools. Call us today to arrange for duct sealing service in Anderson, OH and throughout the greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas.

12 Grapes for 12 Months: An Unusual New Year’s Tradition

January 1st, 2015

Across the world, many cultures have specific traditions to celebrate the transition from the old year to the new. In the U.S. and Canada, we associate New Year’s with the ball in Times Square, kissing at the stroke of midnight, resolutions, and singing “Old Lang Syne.” But for many Spanish-speaking countries, one of the key traditions has to do with eating grapes as fast as possible.

The “twelve grapes” tradition comes from Spain, where it is called las doce uvas de la suerte (“The Twelve Lucky Grapes”). To ensure good luck for the next year, people eat one green grape for each of the upcoming twelve months. However, you cannot just eat the grapes during the first day of the new year any time you feel like it. You must eat the twelve grapes starting at the first stroke of midnight on Nochevieja (“Old Night,” New Year’s Eve) as one year changes to another. And you have to keep eating: with each toll of midnight, you must eat another grape, giving you about twelve seconds to consume all of them. If you can finish all dozen grapes—you can’t still be chewing on them!—before the last bell toll fades, you will have a luck-filled new year.

Where did this tradition come from? No one is certain, although it appears to be more than a century old. One story about the Twelve Lucky Grapes is that a large crop of grapes in 1909 in Alicante, Spain led to the growers seeking out a creative way to eliminate their surplus. But recent research through old newspapers shows that perhaps the tradition goes back almost thirty years earlier to the 1880s, where eating grapes was meant to mock the upper classes who were imitating the French tradition of dining on grapes and drinking champagne on New Year’s Eve.

It can be difficult to consume grapes this fast, and the lucky grapes of New Year’s Eve have seeds in them, making the job even trickier. (Seedless grapes are not common in Spain the way they are over here.) For people to manage eating all the grapes before the last stroke of midnight requires swallowing the seeds as well and only taking a single bite of each grape.

Oh, there is one more twist to the tradition: you have to be wearing red undergarments, and they have to be given to you as a gift. The origins of this part of the tradition are even more mysterious, and it’s anybody’s guess why this started.

Whether you go for the grape challenge or find another way to ring in New Year’s, all of us at RineAir Heating & Air Conditioning hope you have a great start to the year and a, uhm, fruitful 2015.

The Composition of Snowflakes: Are No Two Alike?

December 25th, 2014

“No two snowflakes are alike.”

This is a statement nearly every schoolchild has heard at least once, either while crafting unique snowflakes with a sheet of folded paper and some scissors or while learning a lesson on the science of snow. While even most scientists don’t quite understand what causes a snowflake to form such complex and beautiful columns and points and branches, one thing is for certain, the composition of snowflakes guarantees that no two will ever be identical.  However, it is possible for two snowflakes to appear to be nearly exactly alike.

A snowflake begins to form when a piece of dust catches water vapor out of the air. Water is created when two hydrogen molecules attach to an oxygen molecule. The two hydrogen molecules are angled from one another in such a way that they form a hexagonal shape when they come together during the freezing process; thus, a snowflake begins as a simple hexagonal shape or as layers of hexagons called diamond dust. The emergent properties that follow from the original hexagon are what differentiate one snowflake from another, as the humidity, the temperature in the air, and many other factors (some of which remain unclear to scientists) allow each snowflake to form in an entirely unique way with a seemingly endless variety of shapes.

However, in 1988, a scientist named Nancy Knight claimed to have located two that were the same while studying snowflakes as part of an atmospheric research project. And it appeared to be so; when put under a microscope, the emergent properties looked nearly identical. But while it is feasible that two snowflakes can appear to be exactly alike on the outside, they are never identical on an atomic level. Deuterium is an atom that appears attached to about one in every 3000 hydrogen molecules in the air. Because there are millions of atoms that make up a snowflake, the random assortment of deuterium in any two snowflakes—even in two that so very closely resemble one another—simply cannot be the same.

Here at RineAir Heating & Air Conditioning, we’d like to remind you to grab a cup of cocoa and relax with your family this holiday, perhaps by crafting some unique snowflake creations of your own. We wish you a very happy holiday season, from our family to yours!