- Air Conditioners
- Hot Water Heaters
Heating systems keep your home warm and comfortable. If you live in a particularly cold climate, the function of your heating system is a high priority. Most central heating and cooling systems are classified as forced air systems, because they send air through ductwork for distribution. The ductwork can contain products that filter or clean the air. Radiant systems create heat and deliver it using components such as radiators that distribute the heat into the home. Boilers are a traditional radiant heat source. Typical heating products include:
- Heat Pumps
- Gas and Oil Furnaces
- Fan Coils
- Single Packaged Products
Whole-home air conditioning systems are central systems that rely on ducts to deliver cooled air throughout the home. An air-conditioning system provides cooling, ventilation, humidity control and even heating (if using a Heat Pump) for a home. Air conditioning units cool refrigerants like Puron Refrigerant and Freon and deliver them to evaporator coils, which dissipate the refrigerant and blow cool air into ducts for delivery throughout the home.
Products such as room air conditioners are local cooling options for smaller areas within homes. Instead of delivering cooled refrigerant to a coil and then to ductwork, a room air conditioner contains all the components in a single unit and blows air directly into a room.
Air-conditioned homes often have sealed windows, because open windows would disrupt the attempts of the control system to maintain constant temperature.
Typical air conditioning products include:
- Heat Pumps
- Central Air Conditioners
- Evaporator Coils
- Single Packaged Products
Plumbing work falls under eight different areas: water supply, gas fitting, sanitary, roofing (storm water), drainage, mechanical services (heating, cooling & ventilation), fire protection and irrigation. Below is a brief explanation of each of these areas, and what needs to be done for each:
- Water supply - This is the one we are all familiar with: leaky taps, broken toilets and leaking pipes are all water related problems. Plumbing as it relates to water supply refers to the construction, installation, replacement, repair, alteration, maintenance, testing or commissioning of any water supply service.
- Gas fitting - Similar to water supply, gas fitting refers to any work done on any pipe, appliance, flue, fitting, apparatus, control or other item that is involved with the supply or use of gas. Gas plumbing is a specialized field, so ensure that your plumber is appropriately licensed to undertake gas repair or maintenance. Further qualifications are required to work with LPG.
- Sanitary - This work relates to any part of an above-ground sanitary plumbing system that connects sanitary fixtures (toilets, basins, taps, sinks, showers) and appliances (dishwashers, washing machines) to a disposal system or below-ground sanitary drainage system.
- Roofing (storm water) - Storm water plumbing is a field that involves any roof covering or roof flashing and any part of a roof drainage system involved in the collection or disposal of storm water and includes the connection of any storm water piping to a drain or tank.
- Drainage - Work involving any part of a below-ground sanitary drainage system from the above-ground sewage or waste pipes to the disposal system; and any design work that is incidental to, or associated with it. Similarly, storm water drainage connects the roof water downpipes to the disposal point of the drainage.
- Mechanical services - Plumbing work involving mechanical heating, cooling or ventilation systems in a building, which is associated with the heating, cooling or ventilation of that building. This includes work on any and all flues, pipes, boilers, air conditioners, associated roofing or venting work, etc.
- Fire Protection - Plumbing work that involves any part of a water service used for fire fighting, from the point of connection to the water supply to any fire fighting device or equipment forming part of that service. This includes things like fire hydrants, hose reels, domestic fire sprinkler systems and so forth.
- Irrigation - Work involving irrigation systems, from the water supply in the system to the last valve or control to any pressurized zone in the system.
Sizing is the technique that matches the capacity of the hot-water source to the needs of the homeowners.
For tank water heaters, the key criterion is hot water storage capacity
For tankless water heaters, the key criterion is hot water flow rate
Incoming water temperature is a critical consideration, which varies by region and season. That is, a water heater in the North - either tank or tankless - will need a higher BTU input in the winter than the summer to heat and deliver water to a given temperature.
Regardless of which type of water heater is used, you should start with a lifestyle audit of your client's typical usage:
How many people are showering and when? Is there a "shower rush hour" in the morning or night?
Do they have a deep soaking tub or whirlpool? What is its fill capacity in gallons? And how do they use their tub; e.g. do they take a long shower first and then get into a full tub?
When are major appliances in use? Are the dishwasher and washing machine needed at the same time family members are showering? Most Americans are accustomed to staggering hot water use, so it is atypical to find a home where multiple hot water appliances are needed at the same time.
How much hot water is needed to deliver the experience clients want in their bathroom remodel? For example, is there enough hot water to fill a deep soaking whirlpool or to operate a vertical spa-type shower for any length of time?
Establish peak demand, measured in gallons per hour (gph). Then evaluate tank water heaters on the same gph basis to determine how many gallons of storage are needed to meet this demand.
While tankless water heaters do not run out of hot water, if not sized correctly, the flow rate of that water can be adversely impacted. The temperature of the shower will remain the same, but flow could slow to a trickle. So the first step in sizing tankless water heaters is to add up all the flow rates of showerheads, faucets and appliances that are likely to be in use at the same time.
Step two is to consider the incoming water temperature. When inlet water temperatures dip down into the 30s and 40s, larger BTU inputs will be needed. In certain high-volume applications, you may want to specify more than one tankless water heater unit, either installed separately or connected together to operate as a single tankless system. The Rheem EZ-Link™ technology will facilitate this application.
The most common way to heat water in the United States is with a tank-style water heater. Tank water heater units heat water even when not in use, to compensate for standby heat loss. Insulation between the storage tank and the outer jacket slows this heat loss, but cannot eliminate it entirely. To maintain a preset water temperature, the water heater must cycle on periodically, even when there is no demand for hot water.
Tank water heaters generally have about 70% usable capacity, meaning a typical 50-gallon tank has about 30-35 gallons of truly hot water in reserve for usage. If there is high demand over a short period - a family taking back-to-back showers in the morning or a vacation home packed with guests - the hot water can run out. When it does, homeowners have to wait for the water to get hot again.
Current gas hot water heaters contain special flammable vapor ignition resistant (FVIR) technology that prevents the ignition of flammable vapors, such as spilled gasoline, outside the unit. All gas hot water heaters sold since July 1, 2003, must have this FVIR technology.
In new constructions, plumbers are an essential part of the site. For some large projects (particularly multi-dwelling buildings), the plumber may be supplied with a design that has been produced by a plumbing consultant, a person who documents a suitable design for the project’s needs. If no plan is supplied though, the plumber’s job is to determine where pipes should be laid, and then to install the piping systems.
If you are building a new home, it's important for your builder to liaise with your plumber before the work commences so that everyone's clear about where pipes will be fitted. Once the plumbing design is complete and the pipes are all in place, the plumber will connect the plumbing to fixtures like sinks, showers, and washing machines. A plumber may also handle gas lines for heating and cooking, and some plumbers also pursue certification in heating and cooling systems as well - although these jobs are also done by licensed gasfitters or HVAC specialists. In some cases, your plumber will work together with your electrician on these parts of your home.
As the name implies, a duct-free split system does not rely upon air ducts to route treated air through your home or office. Instead, these specialty products are added for a specific room, such as a home theatre, an exercise room, a garage, or other room where adding ducts is impractical. These comfort systems can supply heating, cooling, or both, and are a split-system in that the condensing unit sits outside your home while the indoor unit sits unobtrusively on the wall to control and direct the airflow. These Carrier systems are full-featured and couldn't be any easier to operate.
Typical Duct-Free Systems:
- High-Wall Systems
- Under-Ceiling Systems
- In-Ceiling Systems
The term "thermostat" commonly refers to any unit that controls the operation of a heating and cooling system. Thermostats are used to turn on heating or cooling systems to bring the home to a set temperature. In addition to basic temperature control, programmable thermostats can be used to manage the timing of the system's functions, which can control overall energy use and costs.
Request a FREE Quote