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The Leader of Ductless Comfort Solutions in Southern California

Winter 2016

Hosting a Christmas Party this Year? No sweat!  

Preparing for a Christmas party can be a stressful event: there’s food to buy, invitations to send, decorations to set up, and music playlists to plan. One thing homeowners often miss in all this planning is whether or not their HVAC system is up to the task of heating a home full of people. No need to worry, however. If you’ve had your HVAC system maintained in the last year (or this fall, if you have a heat pump) then you’re likely in good shape.

But no matter how well your system is maintained, it’s designed to handle the comfort needs of the small number of occupants that are typically present in a home at one time. Our guess is that if you’re hosting a Christmas party, the number of attendants in your home at one time is going to far exceed the average amount of occupants. So, what can you do to fully prepare your HVAC system for your Christmas party?

Take Care of Any Repair Needs

If during your last maintenance visit, your HVAC technician informed you of repair needs—now is the time to get them taken care of. This way you can ensure that your system is in good shape and won’t breakdown during the strain it may undergo this holiday season. This is true no matter what type of heating system you may have.

Turn Your System on Early Before the Party

A few hours before your first guests are to arrive, turn your system on if it’s not already on. Set it about 5 degrees or more lower than what you find comfortable. You may be a bit chilly for a while, but once more guests come in, you’ll quickly notice the temperature rise.

Using a dehumidifier is another good idea if your Christmas party is during a particularly stuffy week. High humidity is actually a pretty uncomfortable side effect of many large parties, since each person’s exhalations raise moisture levels. If you don’t have a professionally installed dehumidifier, then you can simply run your AC for a couple days before the party to rid your home of at least some excess moisture.

Have Fun!

The most important thing to remember about hosting a Christmas party is to have fun. No matter what little glitches may arise, avoiding stress is as easy as being prepared and remembering what the holiday season is all about—friends, family, and food! 

Alternate Heating Systems for your Home

Heating systems all have the same basic duties – keeping your home cozy and comfortable no matter what the weather might be doing outside. But there are a number of different ways to do that and what works well for one home might not be so effective for another.

Most of us are used to traditional forced–air furnaces, which generate heat through gas burners or electrical coils, then blow hot air through a series of ducts in your home. They are safe, effective and versatile forms of heating, which is why so many homes use them. But prudent homeowners may be able to do better for themselves with an alternative form of heating.  What kinds of alternatives are available? Here’s a quick list to give you a sense of what to look for.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps use the same principles as air conditioning, but with a little twist to provide heating as well. Refrigerant circulates through a series of valves and coils to first release hot air outside your home, then pull heat from the air inside the system. The cool air can then be blown into your house with a fan.

Heat pumps simply provide a reversal system so that the pump cools the air outside the home and release hot air inside when temperatures are cold. Because the refrigerant isn’t consumed, it can warm the home for much less monthly cost than other systems can. In some cases, the heat pump alone can’t cover your needs on cold days, which is why a smaller secondary furnace is sometimes added. Either way, you benefit from reduced costs during the colder months.

Geothermal Heating Systems

Geothermal systems tap into the ambient temperature of the earth itself to heat your home. Once you dig down below the frost–line of the earth, the temperature of the ground undergoes only slight variations. Geothermal systems take advantage of that by installing tubing beneath the surface.

The liquid in this tubing facilitates a heat exchange with the ground, releasing heat from your home when it needs cooling, and absorbing heat from the earth when your home needs warmth. The system can then transfer that heat to the air and blow it through your home via your ductwork. Because geothermal energy is a renewable resource, it costs far less to run than traditional heaters.

Ductless Heating Systems

Ductless heating systems are often heat pumps, though not always. They adopt a decentralized approach to heating. Instead of one single unit, they place multiple units throughout your home, each one handling heating duties for a particular room or section. That allows you to turn off the heat in parts of the home you aren’t using, saving you money on bills.

Radiant Heating Systems

Radiant heating systems use hot water or electricity to create warmth in your home. They are often installed beneath the floorboards of your home, although some models can be installed behind the walls. They send heat into the room directly instead of heating the air itself. You stay toasty and warm, and you’re spared cold spots, breezeways, and similar issues associated with forced–air furnaces.

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