Heading & Air Conditioning, Inc.

Your Northwest Indoor Air Quality Experts

Serving the Greater Puget Sound Area

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Your installers were great too, they had a good attitude even when asked to go above and beyond.

- Gary Thompson, Seattle, WA


How Do I Choose an Air Filtration System?

Choosing an indoor air filtration system can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you are new to this type of thing. The experts at Bob’s Heating & Air Conditioning can help you sort through all of the information on the various products we offer to find the one that is best suited to your needs.

Of course, it is always ideal to be able to eliminate as many contaminant particles from your indoor air supply as possible. But not all air cleaning and purification systems are able to target all types of contaminants equally well.

For instance, some of these systems are more effective against mold and allergens, while others do better at removing dust and odors. Depending on what particular contaminants you or your family members are sensitive to, one of these systems may make more sense than others. And our experts here at Bob’s can help you figure out which one.

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What Types of Air Conditioners Are There?

There are generally four different types of air conditioning systems you can have installed in your home or office. Mini splits are the most basic but also the most flexible in that you can install a single unit in up to four different rooms to work off the same external source.

If you need something a bit more powerful, though, you may want to opt for a split system. These types of air conditioners are made up of an outdoor unit and an indoor unit and they generally work well to cool a couple of rooms in a house. This type of air conditioning system can be especially appropriate if you have recently built an addition onto your existing house.

Packaged air conditioners can cool an entire house. They also have an outdoor component which feeds cooler air into a series of ducts. The cooled air then travels throughout your house, cooling all areas uniformly.

If you have an especially large space to keep cool, you will probably be best off with a larger central air conditioning unit. This operates much like a packaged system, but it is more powerful and can effectively cool large buildings and meeting spaces.

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How Do I Know What System is Right for Me?

To a certain extent, you should be able to get an idea about what type of air conditioner is right for you based on the size of the space you need to cool. However, our technicians have years of experience working with air conditioners and are a good resource when you are trying to make this type of determination. We can help you figure out both what type of system you will need and how powerful you need it to be.

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When is it Time to Replace My Old Air Conditioning System?

If your air conditioning system does not seem to working like it used to, it may be worth looking into a replacement. While you may be put off a bit by the costs of air conditioning replacement, there is actually a lot to be gained by transitioning to a newer model.

Of course, if your current system is not working properly and you are going to have to pay to repair it anyway, it often makes financial sense just to get a new one. Rather than paying for extensive repairs on an older system, you will probably be better off replacing your older system with a newer, more energy efficient model. The monthly energy savings alone can make it worth the transition.

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How Long Should My Air Conditioning System Last?

As long as you have it installed properly and take good care of it, any new air conditioning system should last for at least 10 years. Most of the newer models will last up to 15 years as long as regular cleaning and maintenance are performed properly.

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What Can I Do to Keep My Air Conditioning System In Good Shape?

Just like anything else, an air conditioning system needs to be kept clean and otherwise well maintained. You can take care of some of this basic cleaning on your own, but to really extend the life of your equipment, it is a good idea to hire a professional service to carry out annual maintenance checks. The maintenance service that we offer consists of a full inspection and thorough cleaning. In addition, our technicians will carry out any necessary repairs and replace worn out parts to keep your air conditioning system functioning smoothly for years to come.

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Are Mini Split Air Conditioners Really Ductless?

Yes, the mini split solution allows us to install air conditioning in your home without any ducts and with only a small, three inch hole in the wall for the main conduit. Additionally, for added convenience and control of the aesthetics around your home, you can install the outdoor unit as much as 50 feet away from the house. While the mini split system is ductless, regular cleaning is recommended for the outdoor unit and indoor units to maintain efficiency and avoid overuse.

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How Much Does the Mini Split System Cost?

A mini split air conditioning system will cost between $1000 and $2000 for each ton of cooling. A single ton of cooling is 12,000 BTUs. When compared to central air installation, the cost ranges roughly 25%-30% more, however, keep in mind that you will not need to install the same ductwork in your home as you would for central air, and there are far less maintenance needs as there are no ducts to clean.

The reason for the extra cost is the specific sizing and installation requirements for each of the indoor units. Each unit must be carefully measured and installed to ensure minimal wasted air. If it short cycles, you will waste energy and have humidity and temperature problems in one or more rooms in your home.

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How Often Does My System Need to Be Serviced?

Most manufacturers recommend having your home heating system serviced once a year. These visits allow technicians to clean and inspect all parts of the system and perform any necessary repairs. They keep systems functioning much more efficiently and can help to extend the life of the entire system.

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When Should I Replace My Heating System?

There are several reasons to replace your current home heating system with a newer model. Of course, if your system is not working or is frequently in need of repair, you should probably consider an upgrade rather than continuing to pay repair costs.

However, even if your system is working fine, it may still be worth making the transition to a newer model. That is because the heating systems available now are so much more efficient than their predecessors that the monthly energy savings you will receive on your bill will quickly offset the cost of the installation. Even if your system is not that old, it is worth finding out how it compares to the energy efficient models on the market today.

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How Do I Know What Type of Heating System Is Right for Me?

Each type of heating system, whether based on a furnace or a heat pump, is more appropriate for different types of homes. Heat pumps are generally installed along with central air conditioning systems, so if you are ready for the whole system overhaul, this may be the best option for you. However, there are many instances in which either an electric or gas furnace may be the better choice.

The best way to find out what system suits your home best is to consult with a professional. When you come to Bob’s, we will send someone out to take a look at your home and make recommendations based on the layout of your house and your particular needs.

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What Is the Difference Between an 80% AFUE Furnace and a 90+% AFUE Furnace?

The AFUE ratings on furnaces have to do with how efficient they are at turning fuel into heat. An 80% AFUE furnace converts 80% of the fuel it uses directly into heat, while a 90% AFUE furnace makes direct use of 90% of its fuel.

This means that the higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient the furnace is. A 90% AFUE furnace will help you save on heating costs as opposed to an 80% AFUE model because it wastes less fuel. Of course, the 90+% furnaces are often more expensive to purchase and install.

So in order to determine which type of furnace is right for you, you will have to figure out exactly where your usage falls. If you live in a warmer area without harsh winters, you probably will not save enough with the more energy efficient furnace to offset the higher purchase price. If you use your furnace a lot, however, the monthly energy savings can be well worth the larger initial investment.

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How Often Do I Need to Change My Air Filter?

The specific life of an air filter will vary from model to model, but in general it is recommended that you change your air filter at least every 90 days. However, depending on how high the level of contaminants is in your home and whether or not you have pets, you may be better off changing your filter more often.

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I Already Have an Air Purification System. Why Do I Need UV Germicidal Lights?

Air purification and cleaning systems work well for removing many of the particle contaminants that can invade your home. Biological contaminants, however, are often able to slip through these types of filtration systems. This leaves them free to grow and circulate through your home over and over again.

UV germicidal lights are the perfect complement to one of the various indoor air purification systems we offer here at Bob’s. After air has been filtered and other particles have been removed, the air will then pass by the germicidal lights so that biological contaminants can be eliminated as well.

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Why Are Humidification Systems Important?

Maintaining the proper humidity level in your home is extremely important. It helps your heating system function more smoothly and it can also help to keep biological contaminants from prospering. Air without enough moisture will quickly dry out your skin and nasal passages. It will also make it necessary to turn up your heating higher to get the same level of comfort.

Air that is too humid, on the other hand, can be a breeding ground for germs and mold spores. Indeed, mold quickly flourishes in a damp environment, so keeping moisture to a reasonable level is essential in containing the growth of that particular contaminant.

With a good humidification system integrated into your heating and cooling system, you can have the perfect balance of comfort all year round.

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Where Can I Get Replacement Filters?

You can purchase replacement air filters directly from Bob’s. In fact, we offer a delivery service as well so you will never have to leave your home to try and find the right kind of filter for your system. When you sign up for our annual filter replacement programs, you will receive the appropriate filter for your system from UPS every 90 days.

We offer a variety of high quality filters so that you can be sure to get the type and size that is right for your system. And if you are not sure how to install the filter yourself, a technician from Bob’s will be happy to stop by and help you with removal of the old and installation of the new.

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What Are Ductless Splits?

Ductless split air conditioning and heating systems provide optimal temperature control to one or more rooms in your home without the use of conventional air ducts. These systems utilize an outdoor unit and an indoor unit, both of which are compact and can be placed in very small or confined spaces.

The outdoor unit supplies the heating or cooling element to the indoor unit, which then takes in room air, heats or cools it, and then returns it to general circulation. Ductless split systems come in many different sizes and models, so you can easily select the right one for your particular needs.

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What Are the Advantages of Ductless Split Systems?

With ductless split systems, you can enjoy the comfort of central air or heating no matter what the layout or dynamics of your home. Installing ductwork is a big job and can disrupt your life for a considerable amount of time. Ducts also take up a lot of space, so you will need to have that type of space to work with in all areas of your home that you want to be able to heat and cool.

Ductless systems, on the other hand, take up much less space and can be installed virtually anywhere. Both the outdoor and indoor components are compact, so you do not need to worry about having enough space in and around your house.

These types of ductless systems are also generally more energy efficient than the traditional duct-based systems, so you will save on your energy costs as an added bonus. Ductless systems also have an individual thermostat for each room, so you will have greater control over which rooms are being heated and cooled at any given time.

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How Many Rooms Can a Ductless Split System Service?

There are quite a few different sizes and types of ductless split heating and cooling systems. Depending on your needs, you can select a system that is appropriate for one room or zone in your house, or you can opt for a larger system that will heat and cool as many as 8 rooms.

The flexibility of ductless split systems makes it easy to find exactly the right model for your particular needs. You do not need to worry about spending too much or too little or about your system not being powerful enough to keep your home comfortable. Depending on the size, one outdoor unit can supply any number of indoor units, which means that you will essentially have the convenience of central heating and air without the hassle and expense.

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What Are Earthquake Valves?

Earthquake valves automatically shut off the gas supply to your home in the event that major seismic activity is detected in the area. When motion of a certain magnitude is present underground, a mechanism in the valve will be triggered and cut off all gas flow to your home.

The action of an earthquake can cause damage to gas lines and pipes. Cutting off the gas can help prevent any fires or explosions caused by those that damage, potentially saving your home. These fires and explosions are often more damaging than the actual earthquake.

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Do I need an Earthquake Valve?

Depending on where you live, you may be required to have an earthquake valve in place by law. However, even if it is not legally required, putting in an earthquake valve is still a good idea if you live in areas prone to this type of seismic activity.

Bob’s Heating & Air Conditioning has been installing these devices for our customers all around the Greater Seattle, WA and Tacoma Metropolitan area for years. We would be happy to discuss your individual situation with you and help you determine whether or not an earthquake valve is a reasonable precaution for you to take.

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Is a Tankless Hot Water Heater Right for Me?

There are quite a few advantages to tankless hot water heaters. They can help save you money because they do not keep a tank of water hot in reserve until you need it. However, they are also typically more expensive to install than more traditional tank hot water heaters.

Whether or not a tankless hot water heater will be right for you and your family will depend on the specific situation and the details of your home. Our experts here at Bob’s Heating & Air Conditioning can help you evaluate your hot water heater options and make it easier to come to an informed decision about what type of water heater to purchase. We have been supplying our Greater Seattle, WA and Tacoma Metropolitan area customers with hot water heaters for more than 50 years.

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When it is Cold Outside, Will My Outdoor Tankless Hot Water Heater Still Work?

Tankless hot water heaters that are located outdoors will still be able to provide hot water reliably to you and your family even when temperatures descend below zero. In fact, most of these types of hot water heaters are made to function properly in temperatures down to -30°F.

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When Should I Replace My Hot Water Heater?

There are a number of reasons you may want to consider replacing your hot water heater. If you are calling for frequent repairs, that is a good sign that you may be better off investing in a replacement rather than continuing to pay for repairs.

Also, if you have noticed that your hot water heater just is not getting the water as hot as it used to or your water is taking too long to heat up, it may be time to start looking around for a new one. These are not the only times when you will want to consider replacing your hot water heater, though.

In fact, even if you have a hot water heater that has been working well for you, you may benefit from replacing it if it is more than 10 years old. That is because the newer models are simply so much more energy efficient than the older one you probably have in your house right now.

Whether you opt for a tankless or tank variety, your new hot water heater will immediately save you a considerable amount on your monthly energy bill.

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How Long Will My Hot Water Heater Last?

Provided you keep up with all of the proper maintenance, you can expect your new hot water heater to last you at least 10-15 years.

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