Can a Tankless Unit Replace a Conventional Water Heater?

January 15th, 2015

Are you considering the replacement of your storage water heater in Romeoville, IL, for a tankless water heater, but have concerns about making the switch? You don’t have to be, but you do need to be aware of a couple of items before doing so. Switching to a tankless water heater can bring your home a number of benefits, but don’t rush the process. One of the best ways to ensure that your tank-to-tankless installation goes successfully is to work with a trained expert. The installation specialists at DuAll Heating & Cooling have years of experience with water heater installation, so give us a call today.

Tank to Tankless: What’s Involved

The first thing to note when switching from tank to tankless is how you’ve been fueling your current water heater: are you using electricity or gas? If you’ve been using electricity, you have to make sure that any changes in the power levels are addressed with your electrical box. For example, if your new tankless system requires more amperage, your electrical box will have to be updated to accommodate the heavier load. Gas tankless units require proper ventilation, so this must be part of the installation process.

Reasons to Consider a Tankless Water Heater

If you are still on the fence about switching to a tankless water heater, here are some factors to consider:

  • Take up less space – tankless water heaters are considerably smaller than storage tank water heaters, making them easy to place in a variety of locations.
  • Never run out of water – tankless heaters use a heat exchanger to heat water on demand, so you never have to worry about running out of hot water.
  • Energy efficient – because tankless water heaters work only when hot water is needed, they can be as much as 30% more energy efficient than tank water heaters.
  • Longer lifespan – tankless water heater can last as long as 20 years versus tank water heaters, which last an average of 8-12 years.

If you need water heater replacement in Romeoville, IL, you may want to consider a tankless heater. Have questions? Contact DuAll Heating & Cooling today.

How to Prevent Commercial HVAC Repair

January 8th, 2015

Of course, it’s never ideal to have to call a technician to your business for heating and air conditioning repair. Many commercial properties have commercial HVAC units that are located outdoors on the rooftop or heating systems that are in hidden areas of the building, so a technician should be able to avoid getting in the way of the daily operation of your business. But when the weather outside is too hot or too cold to bear with, a heating or AC breakdown can leave you without any customers or employees, costing you even more.

Take the following steps to help prevent the need for light commercial HVAC repair in Plainfield, and call DuAll Heating & Cooling to speak with a professional.

Take Any Complaints about Your Commercial Unit Seriously

You’re a busy person, and sometimes, when an employee, tenant, client, or customer complains about the temperature in the room, you may be tempted to take matters into your own hands. Often, when you hear that there is not enough heat in a room, the solution seems obvious—crank up the temperature. But if the temperature in the room doesn’t seem to be what’s displayed on the thermostat, you’re probably not doing your unit any favors by continuing to let it run.

Be sure to take any complaints about the performance of your commercial system seriously. One failing component can start a domino effect that leaves many of the other components unable to function as well. A seemingly minor heating issue can indicate major trouble inside of the unit or that a simple cleaning is in order. Catching the trouble now will be far less costly than noticing the issue after a breakdown.

Schedule Regular HVAC Maintenance

The best way to prevent repairs altogether is by scheduling light commercial HVAC maintenance every year or twice a year. During a maintenance visit, a technician will clean and adjust components of your unit that could be contributing to inefficiency. These adjustments can also help to prevent parts from breaking altogether, as can cleaning dirty parts.

Whether you want to begin a maintenance schedule for the new year or if you need light commercial HVAC repair in Plainfield, call DuAll Heating & Cooling today!

How to Tell Your Commercial HVAC System Needs Repair

January 5th, 2015

If your commercial HVAC system breaks down completely, there’s no doubt you’ll hear about it. Complaints from customers, clients, employees, and/or tenants are almost guaranteed, particularly in the middle of summer, or during a cold winter’s night. But most likely, you’d rather avoid this situation and catch repair needs before a heating breakdown puts your business out of commission for a spell.

But how can you tell when it’s time to call for commercial HVAC repair?

At DuAll Heating & Cooling, we want to make sure that your commercial property isn’t left in the cold (or heat). Here are a few things you should check on to tell whether you need to schedule repairs.

  • Noises from the Ducts or the Unit: Chances are, you don’t hang around your commercial HVAC unit too often (since many of these are located on the roof of a building). But if you do happen to hear a strange noise (even a small one) from up above, from the boiler unit, or from inside of the ductwork, it could mean trouble with a fan, circulator pump, compressor, or any other vital heating/air conditioning component. This could lead to further trouble later on, which is why it’s important to call for repairs right away.
  • Reduced Heating or Cooling: To some business owners or managers, it may be a given to call for repairs when heating or cooling is suddenly reduced due to the nature of their business. But others suspect that the trouble will improve, or that they can wait a bit longer to call. However, the trouble can worsen as the parts become overworked attempting to get your building to the proper temperature.
  • High Utility Bills: High utilities may be a sign of parts that are working overtime to heat or cool the property, which means something within the unit is not quite right.

A final way to determine that your system is in need of repair is if your technician tells you so during a standard maintenance. At DuAll Heating & Cooling, we recommend you schedule maintenance twice a year with a commercial specialist to avoid sudden breakdowns. For maintenance or commercial HVAC repair in Plainfield, call our office today.

The History of “Auld Lang Syne”

January 1st, 2015

There are numerous different traditional songs associated with Christmas—but there is only one song that comes to mind immediately when people think of New Year’s Eve: “Auld Lang Syne.” It is hard to find a New Year’s Eve party where people won’t leap into singing “Should old acquaintance be forgot…” as the first stroke of midnight sounds. This tradition encompasses the globe, with almost every culture that celebrates New Year’s on January 1st breaking into song with the same set of lyrics.

Where did this song come from? And what do the words “auld lang syne” actually mean? The best place to ask these questions is Scotland. The Official Gateway to Scotland website calls the song “one of Scotland’s gifts to the world, recalling the love and kindness of days gone by, but in the communion of taking our neighbor’s hands, it also gives us a sense of belonging and fellowship to take us into the future.”

The melody of the piece originates from Lowland Scots folk song tradition. It was legendary Scottish Romantic poet Robert Burns (1759–1796) who created the words we know today, however. During the later years of his life, Burns dedicated much of his work to collecting Scottish folk tunes and giving them new life. The first mention Burns makes of “Auld Lang Syne” is in 1788, when he calls the song “a glorious fragment.” Burns wrote new lyrics to the old melody, and used the words “auld lang syne,” which is Scottish for “old long since,” and which can be translated into standard English as “long, long ago” or “days gone by.” The phrase was already known in earlier Scottish poems and folk songs, and appears to be the equivalent of “Once upon a time…” for Scots fairy tales.

Soon after Burns introduced the song to the public, it spread across Scotland as a New Year’s custom, and then to the rest of Great Britain. Scottish immigrants took the song with them as they moved across the globe, and by the middle of the 19th century it was a holiday tradition throughout the English-speaking world. By the close of the 20th century, it was a global phenomenon to ring in the New Year.

We imagine that you’ll end up singing or hearing “Auld Lang Syne” at some point this New Year’s (maybe you’ve already heard it while watching It’s a Wonderful Life).

All of us at DuAll Heating & Cooling would like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy coming year in the tradition of the song.

5 Facts about Santa Claus

December 25th, 2014

Many holiday traditions involve the story of Santa Claus, the lovable old man who spends most of his time at the North Pole taking a single evening to deliver presents and candy to children everywhere. But since Santa Claus is so elusive (unless he happens to be visiting your local shopping mall), how do we know so much about him? Where exactly does his journey begin? Our holiday guide details 5 of the most common traditions associated with Jolly Old Saint Nick.

  1. The Origins of Santa: The name “Santa Claus” comes from St. Nicholas (a name which became Sinter Klaas for short in Dutch), a Christian Bishop from 4 A.D. who was known for giving his fortune away to those in need in Turkey. Santa Claus’ first associations with gift-giving comes from Holland’s St. Nicholas’ feast day, during which children would leave out their shoes overnight and find presents waiting inside the shoes on the next morning.
  2. The Stocking by the Chimney: While many people associate Holland’s shoe tradition with the origins of hanging a stocking, this isn’t entirely accurate. Hanging stockings instead comes from the legend of a time St. Nick helped a man afford to marry off his daughter by throwing a bag of gold down the chimney, which landed in a stocking that was hanging up to dry.
  3. St. Nick’s Outfit: Santa got his fashion sense from a wooden cutout handed out during a meeting of the New York Historical Society in 1804. But it wasn’t until a 1930s Coca Cola advertisement that his traditionally blue, white, and green outfit was transformed into a big red suit.
  4. Leaving Cookies out for Santa: Food was traditionally used as ornamentation during the holidays in medieval Germany as apples and cookies commonly adorned the home at wintertime. When the Christmas tree became a common symbol of the season, edible treats began to vanish, a phenomenon which became attributed to Santa Claus’ snacking habits.
  5. Why Santa Drives a Sleigh: Santa gets his sleigh from a tale spun by Washington Irving, the same author who brought us the Headless Horseman. He wrote down an account of a dream in which Santa Claus drives a weightless wagon through the sky, and the stories became so popular, they stuck around.

Here at DuAll Heating & Cooling, we hope that you have a joyful and safe celebration, no matter what holiday traditions you engage in this year. Happy holidays!

How a Faulty Thermostat Affects Your Heating

December 18th, 2014

The thermostat is very likely the only component of your heating and air conditioning system you really interact with. Your heating system’s thermostat communicates to your heater when the temperature has dropped below the desired setting. The heating system then switches on and heats up the air until the necessary conditions have been met.

You may think that a thermostat works under a fairly simple mode of operation. But a faulty thermostat will have a huge impact on how effectively your heating system operates. Thermostats can be responsible for anything from no heating at all to severely worn down parts and controls. This list details a few of the ways a faulty thermostat can affect your heating in Naperville.

  • Reduced Heating: One of the most common side effects of a faulty thermostat is reduced or absent heating. Your broken thermostat may prevent heat from entering your home or it may simply reduce the amount of heating you feel throughout the house. Reduced heating could be symptomatic of a number of problems, like a broken safety switch or a faulty blower fan, but an issue with the thermostat generally indicates a new one is necessary.
  • Poor Efficiency: Even if you own one of the most efficient types of heating systems available on the market, a broken thermostat can reduce efficiency by quite a stretch. This component may at some point be unable to communicate to the heater when it is time to shut off, not only making you feel uncomfortable, but also requiring far more energy to run.
  • Worn Parts: A faulty thermostat may also cause your unit to short cycle if there is a faulty wiring connection. Short cycling is when the unit turns on and then shuts off shortly afterwards. This can cause the parts to become damaged and wear down over time.

Replacing a thermostat doesn’t have to be a negative experience. A trained technician can help you select a thermostat with advanced settings so that you can have greater control over what times of day your unit switches on and off in order to better track your energy usage over time.

Contact DuAll Heating & Cooling when you need any services for your heating in Naperville, IL.

The Benefits of Tankless Water Heater Installation

December 11th, 2014

Tankless water heaters have become a very popular option for homeowners of the last few years, and for good reasons. However, it’s important to understand how a tankless water heater works in order to see the differences between a traditional water heater and a tankless one. While each type is very capable of providing your home with hot water, a tankless water heater can provide you hot water as you need it, versus having hot water on standby. The process isn’t as complicated as it can sound, as we’ll explain below.

How a Tankless Water Heater Works

There are two types of tankless water heaters:

  • Point-of-use – small systems that typically mount underneath sinks, etc., to heat just that one outlet; point-of-use tankless water heaters are fueled by electricity.
  • Whole-home – larger systems that heat water for your entire home. These systems usually use gas or propane, but can also use electricity.

No matter which type of tankless water heater you use, the heating process is the same. Tankless water heaters use heat exchangers to heat the water on demand; the heat exchangers reside in the core of the tankless system. When you turn on the hot water tap of a tankless system, the water flow starts the heat exchanger; the heat exchanger generates heat that is then transferred to the flowing water. As the water circulates through the heat exchanger, it absorbs the generated heat, and the hot water starts to flow from your faucets. All tankless systems have a maximum pre-set temperature in order to avoid scalding.

Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters

  • Tankless water heaters can use up to 40% less energy than a standard tank water heater, which can reduce monthly utility bills.
  • Tankless water heaters have a longer life span than tank water heaters (10 to 13 years vs. 20 years).
  • Tankless water heaters take up far less space because they do not have a large tank attached to them.

If you are interested in the installation of a tankless water heater in your Plainfield property, take the time to schedule a time with an expert.

DuAll Heating & Cooling has the experts you need to help with any water heater installation, so contact us today and schedule an appointment!

Will Radiant Heating Work for My Home?

December 4th, 2014

When most people think of radiant heating, they think of warm floors where you can walk barefoot, even in the middle of winter. This is true of radiant heating, but it’s only part of the picture. As with many types of heating systems, homeowners have choices with radiant heating, including how it’s installed and what type you of radiant heating you want. However, there is one consistency you should have with any radiant heating system: professional installation. The experts at DuAll Heating & Cooling have the training and expertise to install every kind of radiant system, so if you are considering a radiant system for your home, call us today!

Types of Radiant Heating

There are two ways that radiant heating heats: either via electric cables or hot water in durable PEX tubing. But there are a choices as to how it’s installed:

Electric Radiant Floor Heating

Electric radiant floor heating can be installed in 3 ways:

  • “Wet” installation – the electric cables are laid into wet cement; when the cement hardens, it acts as a radiant slab when the cables are electrified and heat.
  • Directly onto subflooring – the electric cables can be installed directly onto subflooring; the cable is usually installed in a specific pattern conducive to maximizing the heat.
  • In a mat – with a mat, the electric cable is woven into a mat of electrically-conductive plastic; the mat can be installed directly under flooring or directly to subflooring.

Hydronic Radiant Floor Heating

Hydronic radiant floor heating uses hot water or steam produced by a boiler to heat your home. The hot water is pushed through durable, flexible PEX tubing that is installed under flooring, directly to subflooring or installed via wet installation.

Radiant Panels

Not all radiant heating is installed underneath floors; you also have the option of choosing radiant panels. This type of radiant heating is installed behind walls and above ceilings. It can be electric or hydronic, but due to the possibility of leaking, electric is preferred. Radiant panels typically consist of aluminum for both electric and hydronic heating.

Will Radiant Heating Work for Me?

With the amount of choices you have available to heat your home with a radiant system, it is very likely that you can heat your home using a radiant system. However, the best way to determine this is to work with a trained expert. Call DuAll Heating & Cooling today and schedule an appointment to discuss your heating options in Romeoville.

Will Thanksgiving Turkey Really Make You Sleepy?

November 27th, 2014

We’ve all heard it before: you feel so sleepy after a Thanksgiving meal because of the main event: the turkey. For years, people have credited extraordinary levels of tryptophan in turkey as the reason we all feel the need to nap after the annual feast. But contrary to this popular mythology, tryptophan is probably not he largest responsible party for your post-meal exhaustion.

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, which means it’s something that our bodies need but do not produce naturally. Your body uses tryptophan to help make vitamin B3 and serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that sends chemicals to the brain to aid in sleep. But in order to get this essential amino acid, we have to eat foods that contain it.

Turkey has somewhat high levels of tryptophan, but so do many other foods, including eggs, peanuts, chocolate, nuts, bananas, and most other meats and dairy products. In fact, ounce-for-ounce cheddar cheese contains a greater amount of tryptophan than turkey. In order for tryptophan to make you feel sleepy, you would have to consume it in excessive amounts, and serotonin is usually only produced by tryptophan on an empty stomach.

The truth is, overeating is largely responsible for the “food coma” many people describe post-Thanksgiving. It takes a lot of energy for your body to process a large meal, and the average Thanksgiving plate contains about twice as many calories as is recommended for daily consumption. If anything, high levels of fat in the turkey cause sleepiness, as they require a lot of energy for your body to digest. Lots of carbohydrates, alcohol, and probably a bit of stress may also be some of the reasons it feels so satisfying to lay down on the couch after the meal and finally get a little bit of shut-eye.

If you feel the need to indulge in a heaping dose of tryptophan this year, go ahead! Turkey also contains healthy proteins and may even provide a boost for your immune system.

Here at DuAll Heating & Cooling, we hope your Thanksgiving is full of joy and contentment this year. Happy feasting!

What Types of Contaminants Can Hurt Your Indoor Air Quality?

November 17th, 2014

Many homeowners may think that the air quality in their homes is significantly better than outside. A house is sheltered, after all, and circulates its own air rather than taking it from outside. What may surprise them, then is the revelation that indoor air quality can actually be quite poor. There are a number of common indoor air contaminants that can provoke allergies, make you sick, and even prove fatal. Here is a list of the most common contaminants.

Animal/Insect Dander

If you have a cat or dog, you know about the absurd ability they have of shedding large amounts of hair all over the place. Along with hair, they also shed dander, which is comprised of groups of skin cells similar to dandruff. Dander causes strong allergic reactions in some people, and is actually the source of cat and dog allergies. This problem can be made worse by forced air heaters and air conditioners, which serve to propel the dander throughout the house.

Just like common house pets, insects shed dander as well. Insect dander is often small bits of exoskeleton, and provokes a similar allergic response when inhaled. Unlike pets, these insects often lurk in the ducts themselves, giving their dander a much wider reach when the A/C or heating is turned on.

Bacteria/Viruses

Bacteria and viruses are also quite common airborne contaminants within a home. These microscopic organisms can survive and thrive in all sorts of unlikely places, including the ductwork of your home. Their most common form of entry, however, is often on or in a person that has been outside. When that person coughs or sneezes, the germs are scattered into the air and are able to infect others.

So, what are you supposed to do about these contaminants? Well, there are a number of air filters and purifiers on the market that are designed to remove these contaminants from the air. We recommend using one or more of them to improve the air quality in your home.

If you need to install an air purifier in your home, call DuAll Heating & Cooling. Our experts provide indoor air quality services throughout Naperville.