Thursday, October 28, 2010

Are Tankless Water Heaters Worth It?

Over thirty percent of the average home's energy expense is committed to heating water. The newest technology in the water heater industry is the tankless water heater. The manufacturers of the gas-fired tankless water heaters claim their products can cut energy costs up 50%. The questions is it time to switch is probably crossing your mind.

Probably not. Gas tankless water heaters, which use high-powered burners to quickly heat water as it runs through a heat exchanger, were 22 percent more energy efficient on average than the gas-fired storage-tank models in our tests. That translates into a savings of around $70 to $80 per year, based on 2008 national energy costs. But because they cost much more than storage water heaters, it can take up to 22 years to break even—longer than the 20-year life of many models. Moreover, our online poll of 1,200 readers revealed wide variations in installation costs, energy savings, and satisfaction.

With the help of an outside lab, we pitted Takagi and Noritz gas-fired tankless water heaters against three storage water heaters. We didn't test electric tankless heaters because many can't deliver hot water fast enough to replace a conventional water heater if ground­water is cold. Even in areas with warm groundwater, most homeowners would need to upgrade their electrical service to power a whole-house tankless model.

Our tests simulated daily use of 76 to 78 gallons of hot water. That's the equivalent of taking three showers, washing one laun­dry load, running the dishwasher once (six cycles), and turning on the faucet nine times, for a total of 19 draws. While that's considered heavy use compared with the standard Department of Energy test, we think it more accurately represents an average family's habits. We also ran more than 45,000 gallons of very hard water through a tanked model and a Rinnai tankless model to simulate about 11 years of regular use.

Here's what else we found:

Water runs hot and cold
Manufacturers of tankless water heaters are fond of touting their products' ability to provide an endless amount of hot water. But inconsistent water temperatures were a common complaint among our poll respondents. When you turn on the faucet, tankless models feed in some cold water to gauge how big a temperature rise is needed. If there's cool water lingering in your pipes, you'll receive a momentary "cold-water sandwich" between the old and new hot water. And a tankless water heater's burner might not ignite when you try to get just a trickle of hot water for, say, shaving.

Nor do tankless water heaters deliver hot water instantaneously. It takes time to heat the water to the target temperature, and just like storage water heaters, any cold water in the pipes needs to be pushed out. And tankless models' electric controls mean you'll also lose hot water during a power outage.

Up-front costs are high
The tankless water heaters we tested cost $800 to $1,150, compared with $300 to $480 for the regular storage-tank types. Tankless models need electrical outlets for their fan and electronics, upgraded gas pipes, and a new ventilation system. That can bring average installation costs to $1,200, compared with $300 for storage-tank models.

Tankless units might need more care
During our long-term testing, an indicator on the tankless model warned of scale buildup. We paid $334 for special valves and a plumber to flush out the water heater with vinegar. Many industry pros recommend that tankless models be serviced once a year by a qualified technician. Calcium buildup can decrease efficiency, restrict water flow, and damage tankless models. Experts suggest installing a water softener if your water hardness is above 11 grains per gallon. Ignoring this advice can shorten your warranty.

Efficient storage models are pricey
We also tested the $1,400 Vertex, a high-efficiency storage water heater by A.O. Smith. The manufacturer claims its installation costs are similar to a regular storage model. But its high cost offsets much of the roughly $70 per year the Vertex will save you. Instead, we recommend buying a conventional storage water heater with a 9- or 12-year warranty. In previous tests, we found that those models generally had thicker insulation, bigger burners or larger heating elements, and better corrosion-fighting metal rods called anodes.

Speak to someone who specializes in HVAC in Denver about their thoughts and finding on tankless water heaters. They might have more of an insight to how they run, the cost as well as the pricing.

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Tankless Water Heater Ratings

Posted by: Denver Heating

With our tankless water heater ratings, you can cut through all of the sales hype and find value. We have researched the brands from every part of the world and using our years of hvac industry service experience provided our unique system of ratings. It truly is like taking a repairman with you while you shop!

We have given each brand a rating of from 1* to 5*. A rating of 5* means that, if we were shopping for our own home, that is the brand we would choose (if it was available). When more than one brand is available with a 5* rating, we would choose the least expensive brand. When an NA appears in the place of a rating, it means that the brand does not have a model available in that group or there was insufficient information to fairly rate it.

We have rated both whole house and point of use tankless water heaters. For an accurate comparison, we have divided the whole house units into three groups based on the fuel they use to heat the water.

If you are looking for a unit for your shower, you can compare brands on our electric shower ratings page. For more information on water heaters, check out the site HVAC in Denver.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Helpful HVAC Marketing Tips

Written by: Michael Whitmann

Are you looking for some simple HVAC marketing tips that will improve and increase your business? Maybe you're looking for ways to maximize the visibility of your services to potential customers in your area. Then you might want to consider a few different marketing tactics that you can use via the internet. Here are some possible ideas to consider. Search engine optimization or SEO for short, using social media marketing, and pay-per-click advertising on the search engines. Below are additional details of how these can help your business.

Using Search Engine Optimization, or SEO is one of the most effective, and economical ways to gain new customers when executed correctly. When using SEO you are getting your company information listed in sites such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. This is the information that comes up in the results pages, when you type in a keyword or phrase. Unlike having to pay for each potential customer that visits your company website through Pay-Per-Click advertising, you're able to gain potential customers by creating useful content that provides critical information that clients are looking for.

Using social media marketing lets your company participate, and enter into conversations that are occurring in real time, within your area. Sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and others, have millions of users all talking about one subject or another. Being the go to resource when people have a problem or question about their A/C in your local area should be the goal.

Pay-Per-Click or PPC for short is paid advertising on the search engines, and a fast track to getting your company information seen. Your information will be found by those using the internet as a way of finding Denver HVAC companies in your area. The beauty of PPC is that unlike the yellow pages for example, you can advertise your business when you want, and whatever hours you want. This gives you tremendous control over your advertising dollars.

These HVAC marketing tips should give you a basic strategy when it comes to increasing your company's customer base, and expanding your brand awareness.

Mike is a marketing expert and has many helpful articles so that you can get all the benefits of his experience with SEO and HVAC Marketing.

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How To Start A HVAC Career

Written by: John Murphy

Choosing a HVAC college program

When choosing a HVAC college program, the first thing that you must ascertain is that the college you have selected is an accredited one. This is an extremely important factor, since it means that the training imparted will be at par with the standards specified by HVAC organizations. The most prominent accrediting agencies for HVAC programs are the National Center for Construction Education and Research, the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration, HVAC Excellence, North American Technician Excellence and Research, Environmental Protection Agency, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Select a college that has at least one accreditation.

Smaller class sizes are also important, which means you will get personalized attention from the instructors. A good HVAC college will also have an on-campus science lab with professional-grade tools. Visit the campus and get a feel of the place, the classroom, the facilities and talk to the faculty, if possible. Also find out whether they allow any flexibility in scheduling classes for working students, and how you should go about procuring financial aid, if required.

HVAC Colleges

These are just a few of the many HVAC training centers that you will find all over the United States: New England Institute of Technology in Palm Beach, Ferris State University in Michigan, Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, the Refrigeration School in Phoenix, Arizona, Brownson Technical School in Anaheim, California, the Northwest HVAC Training Center in Spokane, Washington, and the National Capital Chapter of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America in Maryland.

You must have a high school diploma or equivalent in order to enroll for a HVAC training program, along with sound math and science skills. College programs usually last from two to four years, and depending on the type of course you select, you will be awarded a certificate, an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree in HVAC.

You will also find a number of community colleges and vocational or technical schools where you can sign up for short-term programs, which last for six months to two years. If you do not have the time to attend college fulltime, you can still get your HVAC training, thanks to online courses. Do make sure that the college is an accredited one.

Once you have successfully completed the HVAC course, the next step is searching for available HVAC jobs in your area. Your college will have campus interviews or will help you with leads for suitable openings in the industry. HVAC employers include HVAC manufacturers, HVAC service companies, HVAC companies, property management companies, mechanical engineering firms, HVAC wholesale suppliers, building owners and many more.

What an HVAC Company Can do For You

Most individuals will have the need for HVAC services at some point. However, most people do not know this as they do not understand the types of services offered by Denver HVAC companies. Find out the typical factors that you would require to get in touch with such companies.

Your nearby HVAC companies is normally the best location to call if you will need an air conditioning unit installed. Whether you just want a little one particular that attaches to your window or desire central air for your total home, this sort of business can install it. Maybe you currently have a unit but require a replacement portion to get it working again. This variety of service is normally supplied by professionals near you, so begin calling around before you attempt to fix it on your own.

The exact same goes for heating units, as an HVAC company generally is in a position to install a heater or furnace for your entire home. If you already have central heating, you may well discover that you will need repairs or replacement components occasionally. This is specifically true if you reside in a cold region that demands you to run the heater nearly all the time. Most reputable companies even offer emergency repairs because the lack of a heater can be risky to homeowners, and may possibly even trigger pipes to freeze and burst if not taken care of quick.

Most people wait until eventually a part on their air conditioner or heater breaks to call their local HVAC companies. Even so, this can be fairly expensive given that components and labor are generally a lot of money. This is why it might be wise to obtain maintenance companies instead of waiting until eventually you require a main restore. Numerous businesses supply tune-ups on your unit, specially at the start of summer time and winter. This can help you conserve on utility bills considering that your program will be running at its most efficient, and can also let you know when replacement parts might be required soon so that you can commence saving cash rather than becoming bombarded with significant restore expenses at one particular time.

The greatest way to prevent significant repairs or sudden breakdowns on critical equipment, this kind of as air conditioners and heating models, is to stay in contact with your nearby HVAC company can conserve you some funds, and can also decrease the anxiety and discomfort that comes with having a broken cooling or heating unit.

When looking for a Denver HVAC company, there are several exceptional options available. Utilizing this assistance your decision can be made in an informed, inexpensive manner.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Questions for your HVAC Company

Posted by: Denver Heating

Knowing the right questions to ask when you schedule a Denver furnace repair can make all of the difference in the quality of the work that you receive. Opening up a phone book, closing your eyes, and pointing won’t get you the kind of quality service that your furnace needs. Choosing a contractor can be a difficult task because there are so many companies that don’t really care about servicing the customer. All they care about is the bottom line. Remember these questions the next time you call a service company, and you will be able to discover which companies measure up and which ones fall flat on their promises.

Q- What kind of response time do you offer?
A- When picking your Denver HVAC company, you want to find a company that can deliver when you need them the most. Many companies make promises of quick response times, but in the end their idea of quick service is often very different from what you expected. Some companies may just put your name on a list and never actually show up.

Denver Heating and Air Conditioning is different. We are available around the clock, seven days a week, and 365 days a year. We guarantee a 2 hour response time when you call in, and when we say we will be somewhere we are, and we will arrive on time.

Q- How do you charge for labor?
A- It seems like every HVAC company has their own formula for determining how much they will charge their customers for labor. They may charge on price for the first hour and then a different price from the following hours, and when the work is done, suddenly all of these extra fees appear on top of the cost of the repairs. How are you going to figure out what you are going to be charged?

Denver Heating doesn’t mess around with complicated labor equations. Instead, the price they quote is the price you pay. Day or night, Four Seasons does not increase their prices because they came out after a certain hour or on a certain day. The service technician from Four Seasons will determine the cost of the repair and write it up for the customer to agree upon. Once the repair is finished, you pay the price that was agreed upon before the work was done even if it took longer than expected.

Q- Do you guarantee your work?
A- There are far too many Denver HVAC companies that do not warranty their work. Furnace repairs can be very costly depending on what goes wrong with your system, and the last thing you want to do is spend loads of money on work that isn’t guaranteed. When a company doesn’t offer a significant guarantee with their work, you can assume that they are just out for your money, and they can care less if they actually get the furnace to run.

With Denver Heating you won’t have this problem. Denver Heating stands behinds its work with their 100% satisfaction guarantee, and that doesn’t just apply to furnace repair. Any service you have done by Denver Heating is guaranteed, and we want you to be satisfied with the work performed no matter what. Also, the parts and labor performed on your unit will have a specific warranty depending on what you are having done. Make sure to ask our technicians what kind of warranty comes with the parts on your unit, and we are sure that you will be very pleased with what we offer.

Q- Do you use subcontractors?
A- Many heating and air conditioning companies will hire outside subcontractors to complete the jobs that they are hired for. When a company uses this practice, you will never know what kind of technician you are getting in your home. Also, these companies will often leave you hanging in the event that the subcontractor makes a mistake.

A Four Seasons technician actually works for Denver Heating. They wear our uniforms and drive our trucks, and we make sure that they are either NATE or EPA certified. They have to pass our quality standards before they are ever allowed to service a customer’s home. Unfortunately, mistakes can happen, but when they do, you can have confidence that Denver Heating will stand behind their 100% satisfaction guarantee and not rest until the job is done right.

In this ruff economy, you need to know that your money is being spent right when you need a furnace repair. You don’t want to waist it on a contractor who is really just a scam artist. Take control of the situation and be an educated consumer. Ask these questions before you schedule your appointment and you will find a reliable company. Denver Heating and Air Conditioning can proudly say that they have answers to each and every one of these questions and more. Trust Four Seasons with your furnace, and we guarantee you will not be disappointed.