ACI Northwest Blog: Archive for September, 2013

Furnace or Boiler: How to Choose a New Heating System

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Although home heating technology has evolved a long way from the days of coal stoves with ugly iron pipes branching off them, when it comes to making a choice about how to heat your home, it usually comes down to two classic options: furnace or boiler. Both have advantages, especially with the modern advances that HVAC engineers have put into them—but one may be a better fit for your house than the other. If it’s time for home heating installation in Spokane, WA, you should have more information about the pros and cons in the “Furnace vs. Boiler” dilemma. If you have more concerns, or you are ready for a professional opinion and installation, then contact ACI Northwest today. We install and repair the top brands of furnaces and boilers.


Whether a furnace uses natural gas, propane, or electricity for power, it distributes heat in the same manner: forced air passed through ductwork.

Pros: The initial cost for a furnace is lower than most other systems. If you have an existing network of ducts for a central air conditioner, a furnace can hook up to them and make installation simpler. Furnaces also aren’t in danger of freezing up because they don’t have water in them.

Cons: Furnaces require more maintenance than boilers, and you must regularly change the filters. Although less expensive to purchase and install, furnaces aren’t as fuel efficient as boilers and they cost more to run. They also do not heat as evenly as boilers and generate much more noise.


Boilers can run from gas,electricity, or other power sources, but they warm your home using hot water channeled through pipes and radiators. The radiant heat enters your home to raise the temperature.

Pros: Because boilers have few moving parts, they usually require fewer repairs than furnaces. They do not use air to heat your home, so they are better for people allergic to air born pollutants and will provide higher indoor air quality. On average, boilers have a longer lifespan than furnaces and higher energy efficiency.

Cons: Boilers need longer to warm your home because of the time it takes to heat up water. Water leaks can pose serious problems. It’s also hard to convert from a boiler to a different system once you have a boiler installed.

Picking what system you need for your house requires balancing many different factors. Aside from selecting a heater type, you also need to know the proper size to get your home warm without sacrificing efficiency. Calling in HVAC experts to help you with your decisions will save you many headaches in the future. For heating installation services in Spokane,WA and Coeur d’Alene, ID, ACI Northwest will get the job done right for you.

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Your 2013-2014 Heating Season Options

Monday, September 16th, 2013

In towns like Coeur d’Alene, heating units need to be reliable. Our rainy Northwest winters make furnaces and heaters an absolute necessity, and you don’t want to have it fail on you and wait for a repair person to arrive all the way from Spokane. It pays to assess your 2013-2014 heating options before the cold weather sets in, then consult with a professional as to the best way to implement it. That way you can be assured of reliable heating when you need it the most.

Your precise options depend on your home and the unique circumstances you’re living in, but probably boil down to one of the following three situations:

  • Continue with your existing furnace. In most cases, this is probably what you need. Your furnace works fine and just needs a little upkeep to function as it should. In this case, you should probably call a service technician to make a routine maintenance call: cleaning the unit and looking for any little problems that can be addressed with preventative care.
  • Your existing furnace needs upgrades. Upgrades aren’t always necessary, but they can help your furnace function more efficiently, and possibly save on your bills in the process. For instance, you could exchange your old thermostat with a newer digital model that includes automatic turn-on and turn-off features. That way, the furnace would turn off automatically when you go to work and turn on again when you come home, saving you considerable money in monthly energy bills.
  • You need a new furnace. If your existing furnace is more than 15 years old and/or is struggling to do its job, a new unit may be in order. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends finding a furnace with the EnergyStar sticker, which can save you up to 15% in monthly bills. Over time, that can help offset the initial cost of installation.

If you live in Coeur d’Alene, heating services should be a priority before the winter starts. ACI Northwest has Coeur d’Alene heating experts on hand to handle your heating and air conditioning needs. Give us a call today; we can spell out your 2013-2014 heating season options in the clearest terms, then install a new unit (or help maintain the existing one) with courtesy and professionalism.

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3 Signs that You Need Professional Water Heater Repair Service

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

A nice warm shower is a great way to start the day. For your water heater, providing you with a comfortable shower is just the start of its day: it works hard almost constantly to bring you hot water for dishes, laundry, cleaning and more. At ACI Northwest, we know how important your water heater is to your home’s comfort which is why we offer water heater repair services. We wanted to share the top 3 signs that you need to watch for that could indicate that you need to call us for water heater repairs.

3 Indicators That You Need Spokane Water Heater Repair

Keep a close watch for any of the following signs that could mean you need to call for Spokane water heater repair services.

  • Not enough hot water – If you aren’t getting enough water it could just be that you need a bigger water heater. But if your heater is plenty big and you still aren’t getting enough, it could mean that you need to call a repair specialist to uncover the issue. The problem could be that the dip tube has come loose, that the burner is dirty or that the limit switch has been flipped incorrectly.
  • Leaks – Obviously, leaks are no good for your water heater but any piece of equipment that works with that much water is going to need service for leaks eventually. Leaks can happen for a number of different reasons including bad gaskets and valves and high pressure inside the tank.
  • Noises – It may sound strange but a common problem with water heaters is rumbling or rattling noises. This often is caused by sediment or minerals deposited on the bottom of the tank from hard water. They will form a barrier that causes air bubbles to form under the layer and make noises.

If you need any Spokane water heater repair services, make sure that you call the specialists at ACI Northwest. We have years of experience working with all kinds of water heater issues so call today.

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We Wish You a Happy Labor Day

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

On every project that we complete, we ensure that our customers are satisfied. We take pride in the work that we do every day, and this level of diligence and attention to detail has allowed us to grow over the years. On the first Monday of every September, our country celebrates Labor Day as a way of recognizing the hard work that has made this country great. Because making your home more comfortable and convenient is our business, we want you to have an enjoyable and pleasant Labor Day.

Labor Day is a time of good BBQ, the start of the professional and college football seasons, entertainment with family and friends, and, most importantly, taking a day off from work. Labor Day emerges as a federal holiday in the wake of the Pullman Strike of 1894. It was designated as such by President Grover Cleveland and Congress as a way to reconcile the damage done by the faceoff between the Federal government and the Pullman Palace Car Company workers and other railroad workers. But over a decade before it became official, Labor Day began as a workers’ picnic and demonstration suggested by either Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Labor, or Matthew Maguire of the Central Labor Union of New York.

From our family to yours, we wish you all the best on this Labor Day.

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