Heating Information

Here at Apple Comfort’s One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning, we are committed to providing our customers with the best options available for heating their homes. This includes insuring the equipment we install has the highest energy efficient ratings available affording our customers the best return on their investment over time.

The following list presents the various types of heating systems available to our customers. Take a moment to review the various options and see which solution works best for your needs.

Geothermal Energy

The most cost effective way to heat your home! Geothermal Applications.

We are proud to be one of the few HVAC companies in the area to offer our customers an opportunity to greatly reduce the impact of ever-rising energy costs by installing a Geothermal Energy systems to heat their homes.

Geothermal energy can be explained simply by its name, which derives from the Greek words "geo," meaning Earth, and "therme," meaning heat. The heat is directly below the Earth's surface, making it a universal resource. The ground temperature remains relatively constant, not subject to weather and wind, which creates wide variance in temperature.

Some Geothermal energy is collected by tapping into hot water and steam trapped beneath the Earth's surface. This water and its steam are known collectively as hydrothermal energy. Another Geothermal energy is exchanging heat with the earth's ground temperature; this is referred to as 'Ground Source'. This heat exchange energy is considered to be constant and limitless. Its heat comes from the core of the Earth, a 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year energy source.

A geothermal heat pump (GHP) is a heat-mover. In the winter it takes heat from a warm area and transfers it to a cool one. The reverse occurs in the summer. It's efficient, clean and cuts costs. If you live in the U.S. you're eligible for a 30 percent tax credit for installing one in your home [source: U.S. Department of Energy]. The installation of a GHP is not a DIY project; you'll need a professional to do it. But the money spent up front comes back to you over the long haul.

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates a GHP will give you an annual savings of 30 to 60 percent on utilities.

When it comes to saving bucks, you can't beat the heat provided by a Geothermal Energy system installed by Apple Comfort's One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning®.

Furnaces

What's up with the cold draft in my home?

When it comes to repairing and providing maintenance for furnaces, you can rest assured that your investment will be protected when you use Apple Comfort's One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning®.

A home furnace is a major appliance that is permanently installed to provide heat to an interior space through intermediary fluid movement, which may be air, steam, or hot water. The most common fuel source for modern combustion furnaces in the United States is natural gas; other common fuel sources include propane (LP), fuel oil, coal or wood. In some cases electric resistance heating is used as the source of heat, especially where the cost of electricity is low. Combustion furnaces always need to be vented to the outside. Traditionally, this is through a flue, which expels heat along with the exhaust.

Central Warm-Air Furnace: A central warm-air furnace is a type of space-heating equipment in which a central combustor or resistance unit--generally using gas, fuel oil, or electricity--provides warm air that circulates through ducts leading to the various rooms.

  • A forced-air furnace is one in which a fan is used to force the air through the ducts.
  • In a gravity furnace, air is circulated by gravity, relying on the natural flow of warm air up and cold air down; the warm air rises through ducts and the cold air falls through ducts that return it to the furnace to be reheated, thus completing the circulation cycle.

The furnace typically is divided into three primary components:

  • The burner (includes the heat exchanger, draft inducer and venting) - The flame originates at the burners and is drawn into the heat exchanger by the negative pressure produced by the draft inducer. The hot gasses produced by the combustion of the flame pass through the chambers of the heat exchanger and heat the metal walls of the heat exchanger. The gasses cool as they transfer the heat to the heat exchanger and are at about 120 degrees as they exit on a high efficiency furnace. The cooled gasses then enter the draft inducer blower and are pushed into the venting pipes. The exhaust gasses then are directed out of the house through the vent pipes.
  • The blower and air movement - The blower creates a negative pressure on the intake side which draws air into the ductwork return air system and blows the air out through the heat exchanger and then into supply air ductwork to distribute throughout the home.
  • Controls and Safety Devices - The controls include a gas valve, ignition control, ignitor, flame sensor, transformer, limit control, blower control board, and flame roll out switch. A limit control is a safety device that will open the electrical circuit to the ignition control and stop the gas flow if the furnace over heats. The flame roll out switch does the same thing if the flame was rolling out of the heat exchanger instead of being completely induced into it by the draft inducer.

Apple Comfort's One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® can help you make the best decision on which furnace maintenance service or plan is best for you.

Heat Pumps

My home system doesn't seem to work quite right.

For heat pump installation and heat pump repairs, you can be sure that One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® will exceed your expectations. A heat pump is a device that moves heat from one location to another location using a mechanical means. There are two common types of heat pumps: air-source heat pumps and ground-source (geothermal) heat pumps, with variations on both. Both can keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. An air-source heat pump pulls its heat indoors from the outdoor air in the winter and from the indoor air in the summer. A geothermal heat pump extracts heat from the indoor air when it's hot outside, but when it's cold outside, it draws heat into a home from the ground.

A heat pump's refrigeration system consists of a compressor, and two coils made of copper tubing, which are surrounded by aluminum fins to aid heat transfer. The coils look much like the radiator in your car. Like in a refrigerator or air-conditioner, refrigerant flows continuously through pipes, back and forth from the outdoor coils. In the heating mode, liquid refrigerant extracts heat from the outside coils and air, and moves it inside as it evaporates into a gas. The indoor coils transfer heat from the refrigerant as it condenses back into a liquid. A reversing valve, near the compressor, can change the direction of the refrigerant flow for cooling, as well as, for defrosting the outdoor coils in winter.

Air-Source Heat Pumps

An air-source heat pump can provide efficient heating and cooling for your home, especially if you live in a warm climate. When properly installed, an air-source heat pump can deliver one-and-a-half to three times more heat energy to a home compared to the electrical energy it consumes. This is possible because a heat pump moves heat rather than converting it from a fuel, by exploiting the physical properties of the refrigerant.

Ground-Source Heat Pumps

A ground-source heat pump system is a central heating and/or air conditioning system that actively pumps heat to or from the shallow ground. It uses the earth as either a source of heat in the winter, or as a coolant in the summer. This design takes advantage of moderate temperatures in the shallow ground to boost efficiency and reduce operational costs.

But unlike an air-source heat pump a ground-source heat pump exchanges heat with the ground. This is usually more energy-efficient because underground temperatures are relatively stable through the year. Like a cave, the shallow ground temperature is warmer than the air above during the winter and cooler than the air in the summer. A ground-source heat pump extracts that ground heat in the winter (heating) and exhausts heat back into the ground in the summer (cooling).

Absorption Heat Pumps

Absorption heat pumps are essentially air-source heat pumps driven not by electricity, but by a heat source such as natural gas, propane, solar-heated water, or geothermal-heated water. Because natural gas is the most common heat source for absorption heat pumps, they are also referred to as gas-fired heat pumps. There are also absorption coolers available that work on the same principal, but are not reversible and cannot serve as a heat source. These are also called gas-fired coolers.

Refrigerants

A refrigerant is a compound used in a heat cycle that undergoes a phase change from a gas to a liquid and back, thus giving off heat or absorbing it. The two main uses of refrigerants are refrigerators/freezers and air conditioners. Since it was discovered in the 1980s that the most widely used refrigerants were major causes of ozone depletion, a worldwide phase-out of ozone-depleting refrigerants has been undertaken. These are being replaced with "ozone-friendly" refrigerants.

Questions about heating or cooling your home or business? Call us. We’re the experts in HVAC service, repair, and installation in Buck and Montgomery counties.

Air Handler

I've got a rattle coming from my heating and air system.

Air handlers are an important component to any HVAC system. Usually, an air handler is a large metal box containing a blower, heating and/or cooling elements, filter racks or chambers, sound attenuators, and dampers. Air handlers usually connect to ductwork that distributes the conditioned air through the home, and returns it to the air handler. Sometimes air handlers discharge and admit air directly to and from the space served, without necessary ductwork.

Air handlers typically are comprised of:

Blower/fan – usually located in a large squirrel cage blower driven by an electric motor to move the air. The blower may operate at a single speed, offer a variety of pre-set speeds, or be driven by a variable drive so as to allow a wide range of air flow rates.

Heating and/or cooling elements - depending on the location and the application, air handlers may need to provide heating, or cooling, or both to change the supply air temperature.

Filters – air filters are almost always present and needed in order to provide clean dust-free air to the home interior.

Humidifier - is often necessary in colder climates where continuous heating will make the air drier, resulting in uncomfortable air quality and increased static electricity.

Mixing chamber - to maintain indoor air quality, some air handlers commonly allow the use of outside air into, and the exhausting of air from the home. A mixing chamber is used with dampers to control the ratio between the return, outside, and exhaust air.

Controls - are necessary to regulate every aspect of an air handler, such as: flow rate of air, supply air temperature, mixed air temperature, humidity, air quality. Common control components include temperature sensors, humidity sensors, sail switches, actuators, motors and controllers.

Vibration isolators - since blowers in an air handler can create substantial vibration, are normally inserted into the duct immediately before and after the air handler and often also between the fan compartment and the rest of the air handler.

An air handler is usually located in the garage, a closet, or in the attic unless it is part of a package unit, then the air handler is incorporated in the system. The air handler can be an up flow air handler, down flow air handler, or horizontal flow air handling unit.

Call our experienced technicians at One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning®, and we’ll go over your options with you.

Schedule Appointment

Quick Tips

Tip Twenty-Three

A typical maintenance check-up should include checking the controls of the system to ensure proper and safe operation. Check the starting cycle of the equipment to assure the system starts, operates, and shuts off properly.