Information Library

  • Wood Burning, Gas, or Electric Fireplace? Which is the Right Fit?

    Wood Burning, Gas, or Electric Fireplace? Which is the Right Fit?When thinking of heating your home most people have a kind of furnace, but some prefer the fireplace method of warming their home. When you think of fireplaces, you usually think of the traditional ones made from brick and stone that burn wood. Now they also have gas burning fireplaces (older models are built more like traditional ones) and electric fireplaces which look almost like a flat screen TV but deeper. The wood burning and gas burning fireplaces still require ventilation like a chimney or outside vent, while the electric gives off no emissions that need ventilation. While similar they all have their strengths and weaknesses and depending on what you are looking for should determine which you choose.

    Wood Burning Fireplaces

    The traditional wood-burning fireplaces are enjoyable for a multitude of reasons such as it uses wood (a renewable resource) as its power source, as well as having no carbon footprint since it doesn’t emit CO2 during burning. Then there are those who enjoy an actual fire, and you get the smell, sound, and heat from a real burning fire. The ambiance is a significant factor for those who choose a wood burning fireplace; especially since they can be as high as $10,000 to install and need renovation and possibly a chimney or ventilation installed. Not to mention there are a lot more maintenance, and cleaning is necessary for both the fireplace and chimney. The heat efficiency is dreadful, anywhere between 70 – 90% of heat escapes through the ventilation and can even suck out 10% of the homes heat aside from the fire. While a traditional fireplace can be charming it has it’s downsides as well.

    Gas Fireplace

    A gas fireplace uses either propane or natural gas as its power source. It is cheaper and easier to install in that there are no renovations necessary, but you also should have a professional hook up your gas line because of the hazards of a gas leak. It is a smaller unit, and like the traditional fireplace, it does not require electricity to produce heat. There is easy access to the power source at any fuel center and is easier to start and less work to control the temperature. While there is an actual flame, it is safer because the fire is contained, this is especially important if you have pets or children as many fireplace accidents are related to both or either. It is also dangerous in that you have to worry about a gas leak which could harm you and your family, proper ventilation set up is necessary (it is also highly suggested to have a CO2 detector if you have any gas in your home). It also has carbon emissions from burning off the gas, so it’s not very eco-friendly, and it only has a 30% energy efficiency rating. The gas itself (propane or natural) is more expensive than electricity and possibly wood (depending on your region).

    Electric Fireplace

    The electric linear fireplace (linear v. regular) is a more modern type of heater being created only a little over a century ago. It is cheap, easy to install, and as mentioned electricity is less expensive than a gas source. With it running off of electric power it is 100% energy efficient, and since there is no real output and therefore no need for ventilation. For the size and BTUs (Calculate) it works well in smaller dwellings and apartments. Like the gas fireplace, it is easy to start, energy source easily located, and you have more control over the actual temperature. It is also one of the safer fireplaces as it doesn’t have a real flame. Depending on the region in which you live you could be paying a lot for a linear electric heater as it does depend 100% on electricity. So if you're using electricity and the power is knocked out, you have no heat source. And when it comes to maintenance, it might cost more than the wood burning fireplace.

    Why Choose a Fireplace?

    Why Choose a Fireplace?There are many reasons for people to choose to heat their home using a fireplace. A lot of people who select wood burning fireplaces like the ambiance and actual fire or the fact it is a ‘green’ power source. People living in apartments or homes with pets or small children probably choose the electric fireplace based on cost, efficiency, and safety. Those who prefer the gas fireplace like the actual flame from a fire but want a more natural way to heat their home and not a lot of maintenance. Whatever the main reason for choosing the type of fireplace you do, make sure it is a right fit for you.

  • How Air Conditioner Condensers Save You Money

    We all love air conditioning in the summertime, nothing feels greater than that cool temperature cooling down your home. However, we all love that cooling down the temperature in summer except when we see our electric bill! Yikes! The air conditioning systems we grew up with extreme energy suckers and we usually paid a hefty price for the cooling comfort they delivered.

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  • Which Ductless Mini Split System Will Work Best In Your Home?

    Ductless mini split systems are great for keeping single rooms climate controlled. In fact, these units are equipped with thermostats, which allow you to control optima cooling and heating balance. These units can also control temperatures in multiple rooms as well. This is why ductless mini-splits are available for single zones, along with dual zones, tri zones, and even quad mini-zones.

    Zones are essentially rooms that receive little cooling or heating due to excessive moisture or positioning. These rooms do receive air from traditional HVAC systems; however, mini-splits enhance the levels of heat and cool air for maximum comfort and convenience.

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  • How Do Split System Heat Pumps Make Your Heating Costs Go Down

    Ever since Willis Carrier first invented air conditioning in 1902, the technology has advanced rapidly…and we have been dedicated to making it better. From quality products and brands, you can rely on, to fast and unbeatable customer service you can appreciate. HVACDirect.com has had over 75 years in the HVAC industry, and it all started in Ohio in 1938.

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  • Troubleshooting Your HVAC System

    A man named Willis Carrier first developed the concept of air conditioning in 1902. Rumor has it, he stood on a train station platform in Pittsburgh, peering into the fog. Suddenly, he realized he could dry air by passing it through the water to create fog.

    Today, 84% – 87% of Americans use air conditioning. According to the Census Bureau, who reported on the Twin Cities metro homes, nearly 75% of residents use central air or HVAC while 22% use window units.

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  • Does Your Electric Company Offer Energy Savings Kits?

    Goodman heat pump condensers continue to soar in popularity across the country. In fact, these units are perfect for homes and businesses in the South East portion of the nation. This is due to near-year round warm and humid climates with little frigid or colder temperatures. As your premier online gas furnace store, we offer the highest-quality of heat pumps from Goodman AC at low prices.

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  • Three Things You Never Knew About Ductless Mini Splits

    Do you need Goodman AC units to keep your home cool all year round? Like many HVAC cooling systems, you have a lot of options and you need to know what will work best for you and your home. HVACDirect has many clients nationwide, a standard heating or cooling system may not be the best choice depending on what the client needs.

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  • Air Filters

    Keeping Clean, Keeping Healthy?

    Air filters are a part of an HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system that needs to be replaced on a regular basis; it is to keep the system running efficiently and prevent damage. Standard filters are made to protect the equipment from dust and large particles, and they do not filter out things like mold, bacteria, and some pollen. Therefore if you want the benefit of cleaner air in your home to try and help with asthma and allergies, you need a more specialized filter designed to block much smaller particles, such as a HEPA (High Energy Particle Air) filter. Unlike regular air filters, HEPA air filters are made up from densely packed layers of glass fibers instead of paper. They are typically graded based on the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) which goes from one to twenty, with the higher the number, the better the filtration. The company M3 also has a system called MPR (Micro-Particle Performance Rating) from 300 to 2800 with the higher number filtering out smaller particles. Lastly, Home Depot has its specific system they call FPR (Filter Performance rating) with the higher number picking up smaller particles. 

     

     

     

    Air Filter

    Pollutants and the Effect on Air Quality

    Pollutants that can affect air quality in a home fall into the following categories:

    Particulate matter includes dust, smoke, pollen, animal dander, tobacco smoke, particles generated from combustion appliances such as cooking stoves, and particles associated with tiny organisms such as Dust mites, molds, bacteria, and viruses.

    Gaseous pollutants come from combustion processes. Sources include gas cooking stoves, vehicle exhaust, and tobacco smoke. They also come from Building materials, furnishings, and the use of products such as adhesives, paints, varnishes, cleaning products, and pesticides.

    Also when getting an air filter you not only have to decide on the filtration level but what kind of filter. There are disposable filters which are usually the lower levl filtration made from paper. A HEPA filter may also be electrostatic but not all HEPA filters are. An electrostatic filter is a reusable filter that is washable when it gets dirty. It is considered the more environmentally friendly option and can last several years. Also the electrostatic alone may not be enough to trap the tiny particles that may aggravate asthma and allergy sufferers. You still need to keep an eye on the MERV (or applicable) rating system. You can also buy disposable filters with an electrostatic charge, though the electrostatic by itself isn’t enough.

    Whether you choose disposable or reusable filters they do have to be cleaned or changed regularly to keep your ventilation system clean and running efficiently. HEPA air filters that help with allergens need to be changed more frequently than ordinary paper filters, especially during allergy season. This can mean changing the filter almost every other month, as opposed to the regular air filters which normally need to be changed only every six months. While the allergen filter does help reduce allergens but it’s only effective if the HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system itself is also cleaned at least once a year. Not only will it make your allergen-specific filters null but it can have a substantial effect on the operation of the HVAC system. Also, while air cleaning devices may help to control the levels of airborne allergens, and particles in a home, they may not decrease adverse health effects from indoor air pollutants that exist inside the home. Meaning that we need to study this closer and that a more fine filter might help with allergens in the house but if you don’t also keep your HVAC clean and try to keep the allergens in the home down then it will be less effective.

    Air Filters Effect in Your Home

    Dirty Filter

    Most people understand that a finer air filter will help keep allergens and particles levels lower in the home. What some overlook, though, is that you have to keep your home fairly clean in order for the filter help keep allergens down. If black mold is growing in the bathroom and is allowed to grow unchecked the filter can only lessen said allergens. If your HVAC system hasn’t been cleaned on a yearly basis then build up and dirt could be putting a strain on your system and upping your electric bill and also make your HVAC system less effective in keeping the temperature where it needs to be. Air filters are more than just keeping your HVAC system working, it can possibly help reduce allergens in homes, and keep your system running efficiently and reduce the damage of wear and tear. Air filters will help keep allergens lower but it can only assist, keeping the home free of allergies should already be a priority and the air filter the last line of defense. With the variety of types and degrees of filtration available, there seems to be an air filter for everyone.

  • Save Money On A Ductless Mini Split By Doing It Yourself

    You can truly save money on a ductless do it yourself (DIY) mini-split system. In fact, we feature a wide array of DIY mini-splits for home and business owners. These units are designed to secure optimal heat and cooling balance. They also have user-friendly instruction for timely installations and performance. Similarly, these units require no special tools or training and are guaranteed to secure year-round comfort for homes and businesses. From the DIY 36K and DIY 12K to the DIY 24K series, HVACDirect.com is truly your source for the best DIY ductless mini split systems on the market today.

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  • How Split System Heat Pumps Are the Best Heat Pumps

    A split system heat pump can effectively replace your primary heating system or act as an addition to your current system for backup as a low-cost option. If you’re looking for ways to cut your heating bill, this is the way to do it. A heat pump is the most efficient machine currently on the market. It acts as a central air conditioner in the summer so that you’re able to have year-round comfort all from one system.

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