Sunset Air Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Heating’

Signs That You Need to Replace Your Furnace This Fall

Monday, October 12th, 2015

Winter is not far off, and now is the time to get your home ready for the cold season. For most of us, that means scheduling heating maintenance. For some of us, though, it will mean replacing our heating systems. If your furnace is nearing the end of its life, it’s better to get it replaced now rather than have it break down in the middle of the coldest months of the year. Read on for some of the signs to watch for that will warn you that your furnace needs to be replaced this fall.

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7 Benefits of a Programmable Thermostat

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

benefits of a programmable thermostat

7 Benefits of a Programmable Thermostat

One of the biggest causes of poor energy efficiency in an HVAC system is leaving the heating or air conditioning on when no one is in the house. If you find that you are constantly leaving the heating or cooling on in your house, chances are you could benefit from changing to a programmable thermostat. Here is a list of 7 ways a programmable thermostat can help your HVAC system.

  • You can schedule the heating or cooling to only turn on while you are gone. This makes a huge difference in your utility bills at the end of the month.


  • Programmable thermostats do not contain toxic chemicals such as mercury. Most outdated thermostats use mercury inside the unit. It’s important to keep this in mind when disposing of it.


  • You won’t ever forget to turn off you heating or cooling system.


  • You don’t have to enter a cold home after a long day. The thermostat can be used to heat the room just before your arrival.


  • You can also adjust your thermostat to turn on just before you wake up in the morning.


  • You can set the temperatures to be different on different days of the week.


  • A programmable thermostat is a year round advantage. You can use all the same features to control heating AND cooling using only one unit.

Sunset Air wishes you a safe and warm winter. For more information on programmable thermostats, contact us by calling (360) 456-4956

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The Benefits of Switching to a Ductless System

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

ductless heating system

The Benefit of Switching to a Ductless Heating and Cooling System Increased comfort:

Ductless heating and cooling systems are extremely efficient at distributing heat evenly throughout your living space. One indoor unit is enough to regulate the temperatures in a large space. Ductless systems are suitable for any open floor plan and are easy to control. With a duct system the air has more distance to travel before entering the room it will be heating or cooling. Duct systems can waste an average of 40% of your heating and cooling energy.

Monthly savings:

Ductless systems can replace the primary heat source in all electrically heated homes. Ductless systems heat homes for a fraction of the cost of a baseboard, electric furnaces, or wall and ceiling heaters.

Heating and cooling all in one unit:

This allows you to control your comfort no matter what season it is. With a ductless system, the heating and cooling is all done from one unit making it a great choice for controlling the temperature of your home all year round. No more external air conditioners and the maintenance that comes with them.

Easy, low-cost installation:

Ductless systems do not require costly and complicated ductwork. This allows you to set aside your worries of duct cleaning and expensive maintenance. A ductless installation can usually be completed within a couple of days.

Breathe cleaner, healthier air:

With a ductless system you can say goodbye to dirt, dust, germs, mildew, and odor causing gases. A ductless system will continuously be circulating fresh air into your living space, making it a prime choice for people who suffer from allergies.

Incentive opportunities:

Many local utility companies such as Puget Sound Energy offer cash incentives up to $1,500 for changing to a ductless system. This can make it a whole lot easier on your pockets when making the transition.

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Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency for This Winter

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Improving energy efficiency doesn’t have to involve purchasing a new heating system. By taking a few simple steps, you can improve your energy efficiency without breaking your budget. Fall offers the perfect time to prepare for winter, and taking some of these steps now can get you and your heating ahead of the cold days that are coming. Our Sunset Air technicians have put together a list of energy-saving tips to help you this winter. Should you need repair, maintenance or any other heating service, make an appointment with one of our trained and certified technicians.

Energy Tips

Here are some energy tips that can help you save some energy this coming winter season:

  • Schedule maintenance – if you haven’t done so already, schedule maintenance for your heating system. Maintenance involves conducting a full tune-up on your system, which helps it to perform optimally.
  • Open curtains and shades during the day – heat from the sun can add needed heat to your indoors, so keep curtain and shades open during the day.
  • Use plastic to cover drafty windows – window kits have made it very easy to create a barrier against drafts that can enter through drafty windows, and the kits are widely available at hardware stores.
  • Use a programmable thermostat – a programmable thermostat can help you stay on track with energy usage by allowing you to control the amount of heating you use on any day at any time. With a programmable thermostat, you can program the temperature to lower during times of low or no occupancy, and cycle up just before coming home.
  • Schedule an energy audit – do you suspect you may be losing heat but can’t figure out where the problems are? An energy audit can help by pinpointing the exact source(s) of loss and helping you create a plan to remediate these problems.
  • Use ceiling fans – ceiling fans help circulate air, helping heat to move through your home. If you use a ceiling fan to help you cool, it very likely has a switch that allows it to change direction to help with heating. Simply flick the switch, and you can help your heating just as you helped your cooling.

With a little bit of effort, you can help improve the energy efficiency of your heating this winter. If you need assistance, or have questions about other options, call Sunset Air and schedule your heating service in Olympia, WA with one of our experts.

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Improving Energy Efficiency with Your Heat Pump System

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

If you own a heat pump system, chances are you’re already operating with energy efficiency. Here in Olympia, heating systems need to keep the cold wet weather at bay, and because heat pumps don’t actually generate heat – merely transferring it from refrigerant into the surrounding air – they don’t need nearly as much energy as more traditional forms of heating do. That being said, you can still take steps toward improving energy efficiency with your heat pump system. Here’s how.

For starters, it’s important to have your heat pump regularly maintained with help from a qualified Olympia heating systems technician. He or she will clean the dust off of the internal components, clear clogged lines and tighten any loose bolts and fittings. It helps the heat pump waste less energy, which can lower your heating and cooling bills accordingly.

In addition, you may want to consider augmenting a stand-alone heat pump system with a smaller auxiliary system, such as n electric heater. Heat pumps tend to lose their efficiency on days when the temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. We have fewer of those than people back east do, but we still get our share. A smaller electric furnace joined with your heat pump can help it through those cold days while still retaining an overall efficiency.

Finally, it pays to monitor the flow of air form your heat pump and to watch for signs of a refrigerant leak. Both can cost your heat pump in terms of efficiency and both can be readily corrected by a trained technician. Air flow should run between 400 and 500 cubic feet per minute, and you can spot refrigerant leaks by looking for frost build-up on the system’s coils.

For more tips on improving energy efficiency with your heat pump system, contact the experts at Sunset Air. We operate out of Olympia, heating systems like heat pumps are standard subjects of our services, and we have the experience and expertise to make your heat pump system as efficient as it can be. Call us today to make an appointment. You’ll be happy you did.

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Why Is a Damaged Thermocouple a Problem?

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Furnaces are complex pieces of equipment, relying on a number of different components in order to do their jobs effectively. In towns like Puyallup, heating is of an especial concern since our winters can be so wet and cold. When an individual component gets damaged, it can throw the entire system off. You may have heard the term “thermocouple” mentioned in regards to certain kinds of heating repair. What is a thermocouple and why is a damaged thermocouple a problem? The answers can be found below.

The thermocouple is usually attached to the pilot light or ignition system. In some models, it may even be a part of the same component as the ignition. It measures the temperature of the burner and regulates the flow of gas into the heater. When the pilot light is on, the thermocouple reads it and releases the gas to start the heating process. When the pilot light is out, it detects that and prevents the gas from flowing: keeping your house from being flooded with unlit gas in the bargain. That makes it a vital safety feature, which also means that the furnace can’t really run without it.

In most cases, a damaged thermocouple simply shuts off the gas entirely before it can be replaced. In some ways, that’s not a problem at all, since it keeps gas out of your home and maintains basic safety standards. On the other hand, the heater won’t work as long as the thermocouple remains damaged, meaning that you’ll need to get it repaired or replaced before you can use your furnace again.

In such cases, a trained professional can help. Thermocouples are fairly easy to swap out if you have the right training, but they’re tricky components, and installing them improperly will keep the furnace from turning on. Heating repairs are conducted by the Puyallup heating repair service technicians at Sunset Air. We can explain why a damaged thermocouple is a problem, then make repairs with courtesy and care. Pick up the phone and give us a call today. You’ll be glad that you did!

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How to Choose a Heater

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

We live in a world of many choices: whether purchasing a tube of toothpaste or an off-road vehicle, we have numerous options with different features, offered in a range of styles and with an equal range of prices. Sometimes it can turn bewildering, and in our rush to just “get something,” we make the wrong choice. Or we end up making no choice at all.

When you need to select a new heating system for your home, either because you have to replace an older system or because you have purchased a new home, you will encounter the same dilemma of choice: many types, brands, sizes. How do you make the correct choice?

Follow our short guide to help get you started on the road toward a great heating installation in Olympia, WA. You can trust in advice from Sunset Air—we’ve been doing this since 1976.

First, get professionals involved. Don’t do this alone… please. Unless you are an HVAC professional yourself, you need experts to help you. There are many factors involved you might overlook, but which a trained technician will focus on.

Second, have a heat load calculation done. A heat load calculation is a complex equation that takes an accumulation of data about your home and uses it to estimate how large a heating system you need to heat it properly. The criteria includes your home’s size, the number and placement of windows, the amount of heat generated from other appliances, insulation quality, and how many people live there. Don’t expect to perform this calculation on your own—it’s a job for the HVAC technician.

Third, consider your available fuel source. Gas, propane, electricity, oil: what fuel does your home already use? Different heaters use different types of fuel, and unless you are planning to convert to a new energy source, you will want to stick with a heater that connects to the current supply.

Fourth, are you interested in zone heating? Zone heating allows you to control the temperature in separate parts of your house independent of each other. This can offer energy savings, but you may not need it for smaller homes.

There’s more to consider as well, and it can seem like too much to take into account. But keep in mind that first step: if you have the help of HVAC specialists, most of your worries are taken care of. Professionals can offer expert advice on every decision and make suggestions you might never have considered. If you hire a dependable company with a long history of customer satisfaction, you will end up with the right heater.

For professional heating service in Olympia, WA —from that big installation to a regular maintenance check-up—look to Sunset Air.

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How to Heat Your Home Efficiently

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

In Tacoma, heating units like furnaces and heat pumps form a potent line of defense against our wet and chilly winter nights. Nothing feels better than coming in out of the freezing rain to a warm and cozy home. Many people are happy to pay a high price in heating bills in order to maintain a comfortable household, but it doesn’t have to be that way. By exercising a few simple tactics, you can cut those costs down without skimping on the heat required to keep your family warm and cozy. Here’s a few tips on how to heat your home effectively.

  • Start by ensuring that you have sufficient insulation, and that any leaks around your doors and windows are sealed. Your house can bleed warmth if it isn’t sealed up tight, costing you money and forcing your heater to work harder to do its job. The more your home is insulated, the less you’ll have to pay to keep it heated.
  • Schedule a repair and maintenance service before heating season starts. A maintenance check from a trained professional can clean up dirty components, seal any leaks, recharge refrigerant if necessary and otherwise keep your unit functioning as efficiently as it can.
  • Consider installing upgrade or additions to your heating system. This can include things like zone controls, which let you control the flow of warm air to different parts of the house. You can heat up just the parts of the house you’re occupying, leaving the rest untouched and saving a great deal of money on monthly bills. Similarly, replacing an older thermostat with a new programmable one allows you to automatically shut off the heat when you leave the house in the morning, then turn it on again just before you get home.

Here at Sunset Air, we handle heating issues in Tacoma with promptness and courtesy. We know how to make repairs and upgrades, as well as how to heat your home efficiently and save you money on monthly energy bills. Contact our Tacoma heating technicians today for a consultation, and let us help you make the most out of your household heater.

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Common Heating Problems in Olympia, WA

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

For a state sharing a border with Canada, Washington enjoys mild and often extraordinarily beautiful winters—especially in the region around Puget Sound. But the winters still bring the cold with them, and that means you’ll need protection indoors and out. When you’re in your home, you’ll want a properly working heater to keep you cozy. We understand how important this is to you, and how uncomfortable life can get if you experience issues with heating in Olympia, WA. Here are some problems you should watch out for during the coming cooler months.

When you need professional assistance with your heating system, turn to the award-winning services of Sunset Air.

Heat leaks: If your heater can’t seem to keep you comfortable even though it appears nothing is wrong with it, you might be losing heat through your house. Heat will try to escape through any crack or crevice it can. Inspect your windows and outside doors for drafts or places where heat can get out. (Try using a small candle flame to pinpoint these places.) Fix the leaks with caulking and weather stripping. It’s also important you have proper insulation throughout your home. If you have an attic, look over the insulation in it first, because heat rises and will flow right out of the attic as if it were an open chimney.

Uneven heating: You notice that some parts of your house are getting warmer than others. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need a repair. First check on all the vents (if you’re using a furnace or other forced air system) and adjust the thermostat; make sure there are no open windows. If the problem continues, it may come from a faulty thermostat, ductwork problems, or a heater that’s improperly sized. Get professional assistance to find out the cause and possible solutions.

Complete heating shutdown: This is the worst-case scenario. Your heater either stops working entirely or will not turn on at all. If the simple fixes—checking the thermostat, the power source, and the circuit board—don’t offer the answers, then call up a dependable HVAC company right away to get to work on the problem. Even better, schedule an HVAC company to come to your home before a shutdown occurs. With preventive maintenance done before winter, you’ll have better assurance of steady heating all through the season.

Whether you need repairs, replacement, or maintenance visits, your heating troubles should be turned over to Sunset Air and its staff of Olympia, WA heating experts. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

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Check Out Our Blog for the Latest in HVAC Technology

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Be sure to bookmark the Sunset Air blog for updates on the latest advances in HVAC technology.

We’ll feature money saving promotions here as well.

Call Sunset Air for all your Heating, Air Conditioning, Water Heaters, Windows and Doors, Generators, Solar, Electrical and Commercial Services needs.

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