Red Rock Mechanical, LLC Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Heating Installation’

Important Facts About Dual Fuel Systems

Monday, December 23rd, 2019

sun-and-snowflake-badgeDual fuel systems are heating systems that use two different energy sources for heating: electricity and natural gas (or, in a home with no access to natural gas, propane). The standard operation for a dual fuel system is a combination of an electrical heat pump with a gas furnace as a back-up. The electrical power of the heat pump provides warmth for a home in temperatures of 40°F or higher, and the gas-powered furnace takes over when the temperature drops lower.

This provides the “best of both worlds” for electrical and gas heating: a heat pump is an inexpensive way to electrically heat a home, and natural gas is the least expensive way to provide high levels of heat when necessary. Since a heat pump functions as an air conditioner during the summer, this single installation can take care of comfort for the year.

These are the basic dual fuel system facts. But there are a few more important facts to know before you call a Plattsburgh, NY HVAC contractor to have one installed.

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The More You Know: Boilers Rarely “Boil” Today

Monday, December 11th, 2017

large-boilerFurnaces have a long history as residential heating systems. After all, the first fireplaces were basically the original furnaces, and ever since people started to construct pipes connected to stoves to distribute heat to other parts of a building, furnaces have been the most common kind of central heating system.

But the boiler has a long history as well. Boilers didn’t become prominent in homes and commercial buildings until much later than furnaces, but they’ve been common since the 19th century. Boilers offer a number of excellent advantages that have kept them around for all those decades: energy-saving performance, clean heat that doesn’t blow around dust, and a toasty warm feeling that people often prefer to the forced-air comfort that comes from a furnace.

Boilers have changed immensely since their first introduction, of course. Perhaps the biggest change of all is that most boilers today don’t actually boil anything, but instead use hydronic power.

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High-Efficiency Furnaces Explained

Monday, December 28th, 2015

We live in an age when technology moves with such speed that it seems each new product we purchase is outdated by the time we get used to it. However, in the case of heating and air conditioning systems, the advance of technology will always work in your favor. When it’s time to retire an old furnace, you can feel certain that whatever new unit you’ll pick will have a higher energy efficiency rating.

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What’s Involved with Boiler Installation

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

When it’s time for a new boiler, there’s a lot you have to think about. How long will the process of installation take? What will be the impact on your home? And who should you call for the job? While the steps of boiler installation very depending on the size of your home and the state of your older heating system, the most important thing is to choose a company with plenty of experience on the job.

To get in touch with a heating contractor experienced in heating installation in Burlington, VT, call on the help of the skilled technicians at Red Rock Mechanical.

Some of the Steps of Professional Installation

The fact is that new boiler installation will take quite a while: multiple days, in most cases. Removing the older boiler can take several hours, as can determining the state of the existing pipes. Furthermore, the technician will have to size your home and make some careful measurements regarding the type and size of system to use as a replacement.

Sizing a boiler is not as simple as using the measurements from the older unit. It’s possible that your existing boiler was sized improperly for your home or that you need a different type of system to accommodate your home. An oversized boiler consumes far too much energy, while a smaller boiler can become overworked and fail early on. Your technician will work with you to select an energy efficient heating system that will save you money over time.

The actual installation process requires a professional for several reasons. First, your technician will make sure that your new installation is up to code. And the installation process itself can be difficult, tedious, and unsafe. Experienced heating technicians use years of training to make sure they use the most up-to-date installation techniques only and make sure to check their work thoroughly. It’s difficult to detail the installation process for your particular needs, as it depends on whether you need in-floor piping, baseboard units, or any additional fittings for your home. Most likely, the process will take several days.

Call Red Rock Mechanical today for heating installation in Burlington, VT. We’ll detail the process so that you stay informed every step of the way.

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Should You Replace Your Furnace with a Heat Pump?

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Furnaces are the most common type of heating system in the country, and by a pretty wide margin at that. There are many reasons for this popularity, including versatility and cost. However, being popular does not necessarily mean that a furnace is the best option for everybody. Heat pumps have been gaining in popularity among home owners for their energy efficiency and safer operation. So, should you replace your furnace with a heat pump? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each system and see if that can make your choice easier.


As mentioned above, furnaces are the most popular type of heating system largely because of their versatility and cost effectiveness. There are many different kinds of furnaces available, from electric to natural gas to wood, making it easier for homeowners to find one that fits their needs. Due to their widespread availability, furnaces are also relatively cheap to install and fix, compared to more rare systems.

The downside to furnaces is that they aren’t that energy efficient. A furnace burning natural gas, which is the most common fuel type for furnaces, tends to lose a lot of heat to various factors like duct leaks and combustion gases. Many furnaces still use standing pilot lights, as well, which constantly burn fuel in to stay lit. These cons lead to a lot of wasted energy and money.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are non-combustion heating systems. They don’t burn any kind of fuel to create heat, and only require electricity to run. They don’t use heating coils either, as electric furnaces do. Instead, a heat pump moves heat from one place to another by evaporating and condensing refrigerant. By siphoning heat from the outside air and releasing it inside, the heat pump saves a great deal of energy that would otherwise be spent on combusting fuel.

However, heat pumps do have one big drawback. In areas where the temperature frequently dips below zero, there is not as much thermal energy in the air for the heat pump to draw on. This leads to a decrease in the heat pump’s energy efficiency, as it has to work longer to heat the same amount of space.

If you aren’t sure whether or not to replace your furnace with a heat pump, call Red Rock Mechanical. We provide heating installation in the Williston, VT area.

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This Is Why a Heater Must Be Properly Sized

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

A lot of people think of heaters in terms of “bigger is better.” This is true, in the sense that larger heaters do have a greater heat output. It is not true, however, that a larger heater is always a better option. After all, if you follow that logic you end up with a commercial heater larger than your basement. In all seriousness, though, a heater absolutely must be properly sized to fit the home in which it is being installed. Let’s take a look at what can happen if you pick the wrong sized heater, either too large or too small.

Too Large

A heater that is too large tends to provoke one major problem, by putting out more heat than the rest of the system is used to. That major problem is short-cycling. Short-cycling is what happens when your heater rapidly turns itself on and off throughout the day. This is caused by the heater’s limit switch, which is designed to monitor the internal temperature of the heater. When the heater’s internal temperature gets above the safety limit, the limit switch shuts the system down to prevent it from overheating. After the heater cools off, it starts up again and provokes the same reaction. This locks the system into a never-ending cycle of on and off that wastes energy and damages the system. Now, the oversized heater isn’t actually overheating, but its heat output is high enough to provoke the limit switch anyway.

Too Small

A heater that is not large enough for the home it’s supposed to be heating will still have a much shorter lifespan, though not from short-cycling. Instead, an undersized heater will simply run indefinitely in an attempt to heat a space that it does not have the output to adequately service. The stress of constantly being on will wear down the heater much faster than one which is properly sized, eventually causing the system to die an early death and require replacement.

If you aren’t sure what size heater to install in your home, call Red Rock Mechanical and let us know. We offer quality heating installation in the Montpelier, VT area.

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Reasons Your Heating May Become Inefficient This Winter

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

We’ve got snow on the ground and it gets dark early – even though the winter solstice is next month, we’re clearly in our heating season here in Vermont. Trying to keep winter energy bills low is a challenge in our part of the country, so it’s good to be aware of how your heating system can become inefficient over the winter months. However, if you find that your system has become both inefficient and unable to heat your home as needed, it may be time to consider the installation of a new heating system in Stowe, VT. For over 23 years, Red Rock Mechanical has offered comprehensive heating services to Vermonters, so call us today!

Reasons for Inefficiency

Here are some of the more common reasons you may see reduced efficiency from your heating system:

Inadequate Maintenance

It is important that you schedule maintenance for your heating system annually. When your heater has to operate season after season, worn down and dirty from previous seasons, it affects the ability of your heater to work efficiently and effectively. During normal usage, components become dirty and dusty, and natural wear and tear can lead to corrosion. A maintenance appointment is a tune-up for your system, and allows your system to work optimally.

Ignoring Existing Problems

It can be tempting to ignore the signs of existing problems, especially if your heating system is still operable. However, repairs don’t fix themselves, and waiting to make repairs usually creates larger problems that can be even more costly. If you are aware of an existing problem, call for a technician and have it repaired before it creates stress and more potential problems for your system.


The average lifespan for a combustion heating system is 15-20 years. Aging systems can struggle to meet the heating needs of your home, working harder to achieve the heating you need. When an aging system can no longer meet the needs of your home, it may be time to consider a replacement.

An inefficient heater can leave you uncomfortable and cost you money – something no one wants in the middle of a Vermont winter. If it’s time to consider a new heating installation in Stowe, VT, call Red Rock Mechanical today and schedule an appointment with one of our installation experts.

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Burlington, VT Heating Installation: Getting to Know Your Options

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Heating in Vermont is no laughing matter, and while the initial investment in a new heater can be high, it pays dividends both in terms of comfort for your family and in your monthly heating bills. Getting to know your options is a smart way to select the right heater for you, and to make sure that the heating installation proceeds as it should.

In the first place, you need determine the heating needs of your home so that you can get a heater that can handle the load. A heater that’s too small won’t be able to do the job, but it may surprise you to learn that a heater that’s too large can be just as problematic. Large heaters will do their job too quickly, which means they’ll cycle on and off rapidly throughout the day. That takes up a lot of unnecessary energy, as well as placing undue strain on the heater itself. A heater that is sized just right for your home (factoring in such components as insulation and sun exposure) will get you the best value for your dollar.

Then there’s the question of efficiency. Older heaters are usually less efficient heaters, which is a very good reason to upgrade to a new one. Furnace efficiency is measured in AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) ratings, measured as a percentage. The higher the percentage, the more energy is used in actually heating (as opposed to being lost through one means or another). An easy guide is to look for furnaces with the EnergyStar label, given to gas furnaces with an AFUE of 95% or greater and oil furnaces with a rating of 85% or greater.

For Burlington, VT heating installation, it pays to have a qualified expert by your side. The technicians at Red Rock Mechanical have been in business for over 20 years, and can help with getting to know your options before performing the installation you need. Call us today to set up an appointment.

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