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Posts Tagged: Heating

5 reasons to add a gas fireplace insert to your home

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Stay warm & save money in Seattle with Gas Fireplace Inserts.

Stay warm, save money.

Gas fireplace inserts are zone-heating champions, meaning they provide substantial warmth in a specific room or area. If your gas fireplace insert is located in the room where you or your family reside most, such as a living or family room, it heats where you need it, when you need it. This can greatly cut down on unnecessary heating, add to the comfort of your home, and reduce overall energy usage. Simply turn down the central thermostat and let the fireplace heat where you live. Easy and efficient!­

Greener means cleaner.

Gas fireplace inserts remove the dangers of smoke inhalation, which is a major plus for adults, but crucial for babies and children. There are also no ashes to clean up. A simple flip of a switch or push of a button, and you have clean, healthy heat.

Get your cozy on.

This one is simple—there’s nothing cozier than a fire. A glowing fire has a calming and relaxing effect, and contributes to the ambiance of any home. Add the warmth factor, and you’ve made an investment that is comforting on all fronts.

Unique styles for unique tastes.

Do you love the rustic charm of mason jars and burlap? Or do you swoon at the sight of clean lines and minimalistic design? Perhaps you fall somewhere in between. In any case, there’s a gas fireplace insert to match your unique décor style. The Archgard Optima series will fit well in the home of the mason jar enthusiast, while the Archgard DVI Glass Fireplace will blend seamlessly in a modern setting.

We believe that a gas fireplace insert isn’t just a source of heat—it’s a centerpiece that should speak to your home’s décor and beauty. That’s why we sell and install the highest quality Archguard gas fireplace inserts.

Investing in a gas fireplace insert is investing in your home.

Gas fireplace inserts hold their value remarkably well, and add to the value of your home. In fact, it’s estimated that homeowners can recover 91% of the cost of the unit when selling a home.

In addition to Washington Energy Services’ experienced, knowledgeable installers, our Archgard products are backed with a limited lifetime warranty. There’s no better time to elevate your décor, save money, and end winter on a warm note.

Book your free estimate

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Isn’t it time you elected to save money?

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Trade in your clunker and save.
Fall and winter is a time for family and relaxation—not clanking furnaces, drafty windows, or frigid showers. Now’s the time to adopt an “out with the old, in with the new” policy with our cash for clunkers deal.

It’s easy! Give us a call to come out and pick up your old unit. We’ll recycle it and give you 20% off the cost of a new unit and installation. Just what is eligible for this great deal? Check it out:

Heating: Perhaps the most important weapon in your cold-weather arsenal, furnaces, electric air handlers, boilers, ductless heat pumps, and heat pumps are all 20% off.

Cooling: Sure, air conditioning might not be on your mind in November—but maybe it should be. If your house was unbearably hot this past summer, beat next year’s A/C rush and upgrade your cooling system now. (It may not seem like it, but yes, the weather will turn warm again!)

Siding: Siding is your home’s first defense against the elements of winter. Protect it with new vinyl or fiber cement siding.

Fireplaces: Is there anything more pleasant than a warm fire in the winter? We didn’t think so. Cozy up to 20% off gas fireplace inserts.

Generators: It’s storm season in the Pacific Northwest. A new generator will ensure the power stays on when the wind and rain descend.

Windows: Replace those drafty windows to keep the cold air where it should be—outside.

Insulation: Old or inefficiently placed insulation can mean colder spaces and higher energy bills. Give us a call to give your home an insulation upgrade at 20% off.

Tankless Water Heaters: Who doesn’t love a cold shower on a November morning? Yeah, us either. Tankless water heaters offer unlimited hot water so everyone in the family gets a comfortable shower, even if the dishwasher and washing machine are in full swing.

And those aren’t the only deals we’re offering in the month of November. Take advantage of plumbing services, such as a $99 for a drain cleaning or a plumbing inspection. Or receive $500 off a complete home re-pipe. Finally, if you’re hoping to conserve energy and lower your bills, home energy audits are $200 off this month (use promo code “homeaudit”)!

November is a big month for our country… and your home. Now is the time to trump your energy bills and save a clin-TON of money with Washington Energy Services.

Contact us today for your free estimate.

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Eight tips for upgrading heating in Seattle homes

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Seattle is gifted with a fairly mild and temperate climate. We don’t have the same harsh winters as cities on the same latitudinal parallel on the East Coast. However, it does get cold here for a few months, and during that time you certainly want a heating system that efficiently gets the job done. For property owners seeking to upgrade home heating systems in Seattle, consider these options:

  • Get an energy audit. Heating and cooling contractors can check out your home and determine whether you’re getting optimum performance from your HVAC system. They can then recommend improvements and changes to help you save money and be more comfortable in the winter.
  • Seal your home. One of the least expensive ways that you can cut costs and improve the performance of your home heating system is to ensure your windows and doors are properly sealed. The latest technology can help detect air leaks around windows and doors, and some good old-fashioned caulking will take care of the rest.
  • Check your ducts. Leaky ductwork can result in diminished performance by your home HVAC system. Have a professional check your ducts and repair leakages. It’s not uncommon to find that faulty ducts are leaking 30 percent or more of your heating and air conditioning, so getting your ducts checked is definitely a worthwhile investment.
  • Upgrade to a heat pump. If you’re using a traditional furnace or air conditioning system, consider upgrading to a heat pump. Heat pumps cool your home in the summer by extracting heat from the air within your home. In the winter, heat pumps warm your home by taking thermal energy from outside air or the ground and transferring it into the home. Heat pumps typically use less energy than traditional air conditioning units and heaters.
  • Install a new furnace. Older heaters are far less efficient than modern models. A new unit can greatly reduce your heating and cooling costs and improve performance. Find units with high Energy Star ratings for the best performance and energy savings.
  • Add floor insulation. For homes that have crawlspaces, adding insulation to the subfloor can greatly help to reduce heat loss and improve the performance of its heating system.
  • Add wall insulation. If you’re living in an older home, its wall insulation may not be as good as that of modern homes. Adding new insulation to the walls can help make your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Adding insulation to your attic can also help improve HVAC performance and efficiency.
  • Add a gas fireplace insert. Beautiful and function, a gas fireplace insert is a very desirable addition to your home.

Heating upgrades don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Some tax breaks may be available to help you pay for the cost of making your home more energy efficient. Talk to us to learn more about programs available.

Washington Energy Services is a family-owned heating and cooling home improvement contractor.  Founded in 1957, Washington Energy Services has generations of experience in providing comprehensive home heating and cooling solutions, including sales, installation, and service. A member of the Puget Sound Energy Contractor Alliance Network, Washington Energy Services has an excellent local business reputation.

Contact us today for a free estimate.

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Top home trends of 2014

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1. Big color, lots of it.

According to Realtor.com, in 2014, bright colors “will be more of a focal point”, and “designers will start featuring vibrant accent walls, main paint colors and flooring” bringing color throughout the house.
We liked this trend and put a green wall in our offices which brightens things up for our employees.

Washington Energy Services offices displaying their values. Location: Lynnwood, Washington
colorful washington energy services office

 

 

 

 

2. Retrofit your home for comfort.

In Seattle, our customers start with an expectation that the heating, cooling, windows or siding products we present them with will be energy efficient, but will they also improve personal comfort? A good example of accomplishing both goals is upgrading to a heat pump (ducted or ductless). Popular elsewhere in the US for many years, heat pumps are a recent energy saving trend in the Northwest. They provide efficient heating plus a comfort bonus of air conditioning, which we do seem to need lately.

install a heat pump home energy audits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another trend we see is people requesting air sealing, which reduces unwanted drafts in the home, saving energy and keeping temps even. A great way to learn how to cost effectively improve your comfort is with a home energy audit. Audits are not just for energy saving!

3. Redesign outdoor living spaces and incorporate sustainable garden practices.

Okay, one benefit of the climate getting warmer is the potential for more barbeque days outside. It has also led to an increase in water conservation measures across the western US. While we don’t have water shortages here, we at Washington Energy believe in sustainability every day, not just when asked. Taking a thoughtful approach to what you plant and where, can save water, reduce your bills and still give you a beautiful look. Easy ways to start are incorporating native plants and using water conserving mulch, and any garden center can provide great information for your particular application. If you would like to learn more about sustainable gardening visit Built Green (www.builtgreen.net) or check out WSU for some interesting information on this topic. One great idea they discuss is creating hydrozones, where plants with similar water needs are grouped together. Extension.org – Planning and Design of Water Conservation

4. Enjoy your garden longer by canning or pickling it.

This “#1 Food trend of 2011”, according to the Food Channel, is still hot, and we mean ‘hot’ as in spicier than ever. Pickles are the ‘artisanal’ treat you can easily make at home. It makes the time, effort and water spent growing veggies in a small plot more rewarding as you’ll enjoy them year round. Beyond the simple cucumber, pickled delights include asparagus, kohlrabi, fennel, beets, mushrooms, and peppers, many made in hot and spicy varieties. A favorite of ours is pickled hatch chili peppers from New Mexico. For the more adventurous, this could become a small business. You’ll need pickling spice, salt, jars, a large pot to boil water and put the jars in (a lobster pot is a good size), and you’ll definitely benefit from buying a simple kit that has rubber coated tongs and a basket for getting the jars into and out of the hot water, plus instructions for safe canning. Canning equipment and jars are sold in year round in stores like Fred Meyer, and during the fall season you’ll find them in most supermarkets too.

sustainable business practices

5. Kitchen remodels are back.

According to Angies list, “2014 homeowners are most interested in making strategic improvements to boost functionality, increase efficiency and take advantage of existing space.”  They cite some of the most popular changes in kitchens including opening up the kitchen by removing a wall or partial wall to give a greater feeling of space and to create an island area for comfortable entertaining. Other popular kitchen upgrades include hardwood floors, bamboo floors, and hidden cabinets that recess into the walls. Adding sliding patio doors to provide new ways to connect the kitchen to your outdoor living space can transform the usability of your space.

kitchen remodel

Homeowners are also expecting their kitchens to be wired for today’s electronics, such as charging stations or outlets inside cabinets for a clean look. Kitchen color trends are opposite the rest of the house. White, grey and neutrals are popular including white appliances. For more on kitchen design trends check out this article by. HGTV Top 17 Kitchen Ideas

We hope you found some inspiration for your summer home project in this list. For improved home comfort and energy upgrades, call Washington Energy at 800-398-4663.

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Take these important steps before you crank up the heat

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For any heating system (furnace, heat pump or boiler) timely maintenance can make a difference, up to 10% savings in heating costs. And importantly, if you have an older furnace, you’ll want to see how much life it’s got left in it, so it doesn’t leave you stranded in the cold.

All heating equipment manufacturers and EnergyStar.gov recommend annual professional maintenance of heating equipment (a “tune up”). And for gas standby generators, it’s required for the warranty.

Why do they call it a “tune – up”? Because it has the same function as the tune-up, oil change or mileage based maintenance you might get for your car.

EnergyStar recommends these heating system maintenance guidelines (and we agree!):

  1. Change your air filter regularly
  2. Get a tune up of your HVAC equipment by a qualified technician that includes:
    • Check of thermostat and any programmed settings
    • Check electrical connections and measure voltage and current on motors
    • Lubricate moving parts to avoid wear.
    • Inspect condensate drain in furnace, AC or heat pump.
    • Check system controls, starting cycle and shut off.
    • Clean and inspect air filter
    • Inspect flue piping
    • Check gas connections, pressure, combustion and heat exchanger.

For expert maintenance services like these, call Washington Energy Services at 800-398-4663. Our 37 point furnace maintenance costs $159 and extra pieces of equipment can be added at a discounted rate. We service all major brands of heating equipment. Home Energy Audits are also available.

 

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Which heating system is right for me?

Posted On: Filed Under: Heating, Ductless heat pump, Heat pump 24 Comments on Which heating system is right for me?

Why are natural gas furnaces so popular in the Northwest?

  • Natural gas is a safe and plentiful resource, so the cost to heat your home tends to be significantly lower than propane or oil heat.
  • Gas furnaces can be very energy efficient.
  • Our 95%+ energy efficient Bryant furnaces qualify for a rebate from PSE.

Should I care what the AFUE is?

Yes. Furnaces come in several levels of efficiency, for example 80% 90%, 95% and up to 98% AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency). This refers to the amount of heat you get compared to the amount of fuel that you supply to the furnace. So 80% AFUE means 80% of the fuel becomes heat and 20% is wasted. With gas bills going up, it can pay to have a 95-98% furnace – you could lower your heating costs by 15% or more.

Which kind of gas furnace heats best?

If you are considering a new furnace, consider the benefits of the modulating furnace. Modulating furnaces stabilize the heat you feel throughout your house, eliminating cold spots. The furnace makes tiny continuous adjustments to keep at temperature. This reduces the fluctuations caused by a traditional furnace which shuts off once it hits your preset thermostat level.

Don’t I have to replace my furnace with the same kind that was there?

Not necessarily. The type and size that was there may not have been optimal. For example, here are three common scenarios:

  • If you have done remodeling or put in new windows, you may need a different size furnace to comfortably heat your home. By size we mean, BTU heat output. And surprise, it could be a smaller, lower cost furnace if you added insulation and windows recently.
  • If you have a home that was built 15+ years ago, you may have a single stage 80% AFUE furnace which could be upgraded to an energy efficient, and comfortable modulating furnace.
  • If you want a gas furnace and don’t have one, don’t rule out that natural gas may now be available on your street. If you are a Puget Sound Energy customer you may be entitled to large rebates for natural gas hookup when used as a heating source. We can help you navigate this process with Puget Sound Energy.

If I have electric heat, what’s my best option?

Whether you have ducts or no ducts there are some excellent energy efficient options for electrically heated homes that could save you 25%-40% vs your current heating costs.

Most electrically heated homes in the Seattle area have baseboard or wall heat and no ducts. If you have forced air heat through ducts, you likely have an electric furnace aka, electric air handler. For a truly energy-efficient and cost saving solution, a heat pump or ductless heat pump provides excellent heating and cooling with lower utility costs.

Heat pumps – an electric alternative when you have air ducts:

A heat pump takes heat from the surrounding air and ground and transfers it into your home. It also contains refrigerant that allows it to cool your home in summer. A typical heat pump connects to your ducted system, and can work with or without a furnace as a backup. A heat pump can save up to 40% of energy when compared to a traditional electric furnace. Using it as the sole heating source works best when the temperature rarely dips below 40° outside. If the temperature is colder, as it is here in Western Washington, you will need a backup heat source. Consider a hybrid system; a heat pump paired with an electric air handler or furnace to ensure you always have heat. The combined system can be more energy efficient than other electric heat options.

Ductless heat pumps – Super efficient

A ductless heat pump also heats and cools your home similarly to an air source heat pump, but without ducts. The outdoor unit of a ductless heat pump system also transfers heat from the outside into your home. Inside a register on the wall silently and efficiently warms or cools the room. Larger areas may require separate registers. A ductless heat pump also provides air conditioning. Ductless heat pumps can save you 25 to 40% of your heating costs.

Rebates from Puget Sound Energy are Available

In selecting any heat pump keep in mind that energy efficient models qualify for local utility rebates. Excellent rebates are available for homeowners who currently have baseboard or wall electric heat. Some rebates are up to $1200. For a list of utility rebates click here.

Maintenance and filters

Already have an energy efficient heating system? Like a car, you could lose some of that benefit if you go without annual maintenance to ensure your furnace is operating at its peak efficiency, and don’t forget to change the filter.

Washington Energy Services sells and installs energy efficient heating systems including furnaces, electric air handlers, hybrid systems, heat pumps and ductless heat pumps in Western Washington. Air filters, too. For more information or a free estimate, call 800-398-HOME.

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