ACI Northwest Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Heating Installation’

The Differences Between Radiant and Forced-Air Heaters

Monday, December 7th, 2020

woman sitting in her home with holiday lights on a tree in the foregroundWinter is right around the corner and if you’ve been here for even one season in Idaho, you know they are nothing to mess with. Sunny cool days can quickly switch places with wind and snowfall. Whether the sun is out or the snow is piling up, you will want to make sure that you can keep your home warm when you need it the most.

Choosing a good heater for your house is going to make all the difference in maintaining a comfortable indoor environment. But there is more than one type of heater out there for you. Let us give you some extra information on what differentiates radiant heating in Sandpoint, ID, and forced-air heating—and what makes both of them great options.

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How To Decide on a Heater for Your Home

Monday, January 20th, 2020

couple-making-decisionHaving a reliable heater in Spokane isn’t really up for debate. It is a necessity. So when your heating system gives up the ghost, it is never an issue you can ignore. The bigger problem here is having to decide on which new heater you should install.

Maybe you are already set on what system you’d like to install or maybe you are struggling with your options. We want to help in either case. We have put together a list of the different heater types you should know about along with the factors that you will need to remember when selecting a unit for your home. Because let’s be honest, no one wants to shiver all day long but suffering inside a stuffy home is just as bad.

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Heat Pump Guide: Know Your Options for Heating Installation

Monday, October 5th, 2015

If you are searching for the perfect HVAC installation to keep you comfortable all year long, the search ends here. A heat pump is the system to choose when you are looking for power, efficiency, and convenience. This is a single system that has the ability to heat and cool a home using refrigeration. A heat pump is an ideal installation for someone replacing a heater and air conditioner, or for new construction. Read on to learn more about the efficiency and performance of these popular home HVAC units.

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Things to Expect from a New Heater

Monday, January 27th, 2014

We hope that you have had a pleasant and safe winter so far here in Washington State. But if your current heater hasn’t been living up to its former standards, and the winter has been a chillier one for you than usual, perhaps the time has come to toss out the old and welcome the new with heating installation in Spokane, WA.

ACI Northwest has Spokane heating installation technicians ready to assist you with installing a new heater for the rest of the winter season. Here are few things you should expect once we have set up your new heating system:

  • Popping/rumbling sounds from the ducts: Odd sounds from your heater are usually a sign of trouble. However, one sound you should expect when you first turn on your heater if it uses ductwork is a popping or rumbling noise that sounds like shaking metal. This is from the metal of the ducts, expanding and adjusting to the sudden first increase in temperature. Only worry about it if it persists.
  • A decrease in your energy bills: If this is the first new heating system you have gotten in many years, you can expect to see lower energy bills—and that will certainly make you feel even better about your investment. Home heating energy efficiency has increased immensely in only a decade, so your new heating system will have improved performance over your last one. In addition, your previous heater probably lost much of its efficiency near the end of its service.
  • Quieter operation: Another advance in heating technology over the years is the decrease of operating noise through more efficient engines and better sound-proofing on the cabinets. Don’t worry if you can hardly hear your new heating system operating—that’s exactly how it should sound.
  • Better thermostat controls: New heater installation should go hand-in-hand with new thermostat installation. A programmable thermostat will give you increased control over the heat in your home, and wireless models are even better.

You will only get the full benefits of your new heater if you have it installed professionally. Amateur installation frequently leads to malfunctions, poor heating, and full breakdowns. Let the experts take on this complex task and have it done for you fast and properly. At ACI Northwest, our expertise means we will get your heating installation in Spokane, WA done right the first time. You’ll have many years of trouble-free comfort ahead of you with ACI Northwest behind you.

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How Air Handlers Fit into Your Heating System

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

The most common type of heating systems found in homes are “forced-air” systems. These include furnaces and all the varieties of heat pumps (air-source, geothermal, ductless). Forced-air systems use the distribution of heated air sent into your home to provide you with comfort.

A key component for a forced-air system to work is a device that, well, forces the air to move. These components are called air handlers, and we’ll explain in a bit more detail how they fit into your heating system.

For your heating system installation in Spokane, WA, contact a company with decades of experience and a solid reputation: ACI Northwest.

Air Handler Basics

Although one of the prime functions of an air handler is to send out conditioned air into a ventilation system (or straight into a room if it is a ductless system), they are far more complex than just a box with a fan. A standard air handler houses a blower motor and fan, filters, dampers, and (for heat pumps) heating and cooling elements. They can also contain extra options, depending on the system to which they are hooked. Some air handlers contain a heat recovery device that increases energy efficiency, and others can contain humidifiers, which help to alleviate the dryness that often comes from heating a home.

For a furnace or a standard heat pump, a heating system will have one large air handler connected to the cabinet of the system. For ductless mini split heat pumps, a series of smaller “terminal units” are positioned throughout the house, and usually contain a smaller number of components—enough to allow them to condition and send out the required amount of heating. These terminal units are linked back to the cabinet through refrigerant and power lines.

Professionals Must Install Air Handlers

An air handler is an essential part of a team, an important component in a larger system that can include ducts, venting, burners, motors, air filters, etc. In order for an air handler to correctly perform its job, it must have installation from professionals with the training to correctly connect it to the distribution system and the heating cabinet. This is not work to trust to amateurs.

ACI Northwest carries the top brands of air handlers, and we have extensive experience with heating system installation in Spokane, WA as well as repairs and maintenance to take care of the air handler that is taking care of you.

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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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Pros and Cons of Various Heating Systems in Worley

Monday, December 12th, 2011

When it comes time to install a new heating system in your Worley home, there are a lot of options to consider. Many people get overwhelmed when confronted with all of the furnaces, boilers and heat pumps on the market these days. So, to help you get a handle on what each has to offer and which will offer you the best benefits, here is an overview of the modern heating system market.


Furnaces are the core of a forced air heating system and use gas, oil or electricity to heat air which is then circulated through your home by a blower in your air handler. Furnaces are among the most fuel efficient heating systems on the market today with options available at up to 95% AFUE (meaning it uses up to 95% of the fuel consumed to produce heat). They are also inexpensive to install and while they don’t last quite as long as boilers, they are highly efficient when well cared for.


Boilers use gas, oil or electricity to heat water or steam which is then circulated through your home into radiators or baseboard heaters. The heated water or steam releases heat into your home and heats it in turn. While not quite as energy efficient as a high efficiency furnace, boiler heat is perfect for homes with existing radiators and no room for vents and ductwork. It also has less of an impact on indoor air quality since there is no air movement and boilers tend to last a very long time when well maintained.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular, especially in milder climates where it rarely gets below 40 degrees F. A heat pump uses the same technology as an air conditioner to extract heat from outside using a compressor, evaporator coils, and condenser coils with refrigerant.

It is most efficient in the spring and fall when temperatures are mild, but it uses much less energy than either a boiler or furnace and it can be used in the summer to cool your home. When properly maintained, a heat pump will last 10-20 years and save quite a bit of money, though it is recommended that you have an emergency heat source for days when the temperature outside gets below 40 degrees F.

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High Efficiency Furnaces and Chimney Concerns in Mead

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

When upgrading to a high efficiency gas furnace, you may need to make some upgrades to your Mead home’s chimney. Older chimneys built for standard furnaces with normal exhaust needs are not built to the specifications needed by today’s high efficiency models. Not only is it unsafe to leave it as is, but the cost of repairs if you don’t have it upgraded can be substantial.


A common concern when upgrading to a high efficiency gas furnace is the issue of condensation and draft. Because the amount of exhaust being vented is reduced by a high efficiency furnace, your current setup is not sufficient for the new model. So, it needs to be reduced in size by a professional to avoid backup of exhaust. Proper chimney sizing is a complex process that requires professional guidelines and careful measurements of all appliances in your home.

Because the chimney often isn’t used at all for a high efficiency furnace (often PVC pipe used instead), the extra airflow in the chimney can become a major issue.

Chimney Condensation

The biggest concern for the chimney when changing the furnace efficiency is condensation. Specifically, acidic condensation droplets can build up in the chimney if not properly stopped. A new chimney liner must be placed in the chimney to avoid excessive corrosion due to the acid droplets. Keep in mind that the efficiency of your new furnace will determine whether you will use the traditional chimney for exhaust or if a new line will be installed to vent your furnace.

When to Take Action

If you have your furnace replaced, your technician will likely discuss the chimney situation in your home with you. Keep in mind that this might be necessary and that there might be an added cost involved because of it. Modern furnaces are not designed to accommodate aging chimneys and your safety and the integrity of your house are at risk if you don’t retrofit the chimney if necessary.

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What Are Your Heat Pump Options? A Tip from Kellogg

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Once you’ve decided that a heat pump really is the best option for your Kellogg home, you’ll still have a lot of options to consider. There are actually quite a few types of heat pumps and they can vary considerably in terms of their energy efficiency and other available features.

For instance, you can choose to go with a heat pump with a one-speed, two-speed or multi-speed compressor. Single speed compressors are only capable of operating at full capacity. That means that they’ll certainly be able to keep your home warm, but they may be working harder than they need to at some points.

A two-speed or multi-speed compressor, on the other hand, can be adjusted to more appropriately fit the heating and cooling needs of the moment. There will certainly be times when you don’t need your heat pump to be going all out, and the ability to regulate this level of performance can benefit you in several ways.

It will allow you to maintain a more consistent indoor temperature to be sure, but it will also reduce the overall wear and tear on your heat pump over time. If your heat pump doesn’t have to run all out all of the time, it simply won’t wear out as fast, and that will save you both money and frustration in the long run. It’s also worth noting that heat pumps with two-speed or multi-speed compressors are more easily integrated into a zone control system if you have one in your home.

However, regardless of what type of compressor your heat pump has, you’ll also have to examine the various heat pump models available to determine what their actual energy efficiency ratings are. Each heat pump actually comes with two ratings, one for heating and one for cooling.

The heating season performance factor (HSPF) reflects the heat pump’s heating efficiency, while the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) is a measure of its cooling efficiency. The higher both of these numbers are, the higher the efficiency of the unit. But you don’t necessarily need both numbers to be as high as possible to get the best heat pump for your home.

If you’re going to be using the heat pump more for cooling than for heating because of the climate where you live, you’ll want to make sure the unit you get has as high a SEER as possible, but you won’t have to worry too much about the HSPF. But if you’re going to need more heating than cooling, you should pay more attention to the HSPF than the SEER.

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