Hot Water Heating

Are you tired of running out of hot water while showering, cleaning or doing laundry?

If you’re waiting too long for hot water, or even worse, you’re running out of hot water too soon, a natural gas water heater is the right choice for you. Whether you’re bathing or washing dishes, you want hot water fast and plenty of it. Gas flames provide instant heat, which means a gas water heater heats more water per hour than an electric water heater. Today’s gas water heaters are more efficient than ever, using 35 percent less gas than older models. That’s a significant savings when you consider that water heating is the second largest energy user in the home. So enjoy relaxing hot showers with a natural gas water heater!

Save on running your furnace

In the cold weather you may feel like you can do little about heating costs, other than locking in early on fuel rates. But there is another way to save money and improve heating efficiency:

Consider installing a variable speed fan, which is more efficient than a single-speed fan. Furnaces use a lot of electricity to power the fan motor that circulates air through your house. If you run the furnace fan continuously, a variable speed fan can save hundreds of dollars in utility charges each year.

A furnace is not the sexiest purchase you will ever make, but it is key to your comfort and your family’s comfort. Instead of just calling your neighborhood fuel dealer to ask for help with a replacement, do some research and shopping on your own. The extra time you put into buying a new furnace may save you thousands over the service life of your furnace.

The Natural Gas Advantage

It’s hard to know which type of energy fuel is better for home heating. Homeowners are familiar with the up-and-down cycle of natural gas prices. Before choosing the fuel type for a new heating system, weigh the advantages and disadvantages.

Even with seasonal increases, high-efficiency gas furnaces cost less to operate than electric furnaces. Natural gas is always available, while the oil market is unstable from the conflicts in the Middle East. You also do not have the hassle of refilling and maintaining storage tanks, like you do with oil.

Natural gas requires no large storage tanks in your basement. It also is less polluting, producing almost no emissions.

BBQ Selection Tips

Gas barbeque grills have been gaining in popularity for many year and now dominate the out-door cooking market. They come in two main types: natural gas and propane.

Natural gas grills burn, as the name suggests, natural gas (a type of methane chiefly). They produce high heat and an even temperature. Clean up is relatively easy and some grills are even self-cleaning to a degree, like indoor ovens.

But natural gas BBQs require you to have or create an outlet to hook the stove up to. Many homes already have them, so that’s not a problem. But it does limit the mobility of the grill. Once in place, you have a fairly short hose connection and the grill has to stay near the outlet. In rare cases that can present a fire hazard, but for most homeowners natural gas barbeques are a great option.

The other type of gas BBQ uses propane, usually from a refillable metal tank. Tanks come in various sizes, with 20 gallons a common amount. Propane grills produce a high temperature, only slightly less than methane. They’ll cook a thick steak just as well, requiring only a slightly longer cooking time.

Propane BBQs are convenient because they can be moved around. If you cook at different times of the day that can be a big advantage. If the sun is too hot in one spot (or you happen to be doing some yard re-modeling) the barbeque can be moved to another location.

But the tanks do run out, slower or faster depending on how long each cooking session is and how often the BBQ is used. Refilling them isn’t very expensive, though propane prices have risen sharply in the past few years. The hassle factor can be considerable or trivial depending on who your supplier is. Some suppliers just do a quick exchange of the tank and you’re on your way. Others make you wait in line, fill out paperwork and more.

Many natural gas BBQ models can be converted into propane and vice versa. The kits are simple to use and range in price, with some representing a third of the original cost of the grill.

Electric barbeque grills are another, newer option. They are in essence electric ovens set on wheels and can have a number of advantages. They have no fuel requirement, just a cord and an electric outlet. They can be self-cleaning, just as many interior ovens are. The temperature can be very precisely controlled. They do tend to be a little more expensive than other styles of BBQs, though.

With the technological improvements made in BBQs over the past 20 years, you can hardly go wrong if you select a major brand. Consider your budget, your preferred cooking circumstances, and go for it!

Where is the popularity of barbecue headed?

Recently New York Magazine declared Barbecue the new Deli. Suddenly people in the Big Apple seem to know what most the rest of us have for quite a while now, barbecue is big. From chains of restaurants to the explosions of competitions barbecue has become not just the new lunch spot but one of the fastest growing “sports” in Canada.

While barbecue has existed for centuries the combination of technology from new electric smokers to the vast array of information on the internet has caused millions of people to find true barbecue and to become fans consuming more and more food, books and equipment. While barbecue can’t be considered a fad there is a fad like quality to this growth in popularity.

With millions of dollars being invested into all kinds of barbecue related businesses the $64,000 question is how big will it get and where is it headed. If there is a surge in popularity there will inevitably be a decline.

Gas Appliance Installation

Gas appliances need to be regularly serviced by a qualified gasfitter and installation of new gas appliances also requires the services of a professional.

Gas Pool Heaters

Gas heaters are either Natural Gas or Propane (LP). Both heaters offer the same efficiencies. Natural gas may be somewhat less expensive to heat with since natural gas is already available at your home. Propane gas must be trucked in and pumped into a tank in your yard. Basically, all gas heaters work the same way. There are burner elements where the gas flame heats up a special metal heat exchanger tubes.

Water from your filter is pumped into the inlet of the heater. The water flows through the heat exchanger, picking up some heat, and flows back to your pool or spa out the header outlet. Water coming into the pool with feels a little warm, not hot. After repeated cycles, the pool water begins to feel warmer to the touch. The new heaters from most major manufacturers are made to exacting standards and will be much more efficient than the older model gas heaters. Just like the furnace in your home, today’s furnaces do a much better job than the older, larger units of yesteryear.

You may wish to replace your old gas heater with a new one and save hundreds of dollars per year on heating costs. Remember: Heater efficiency is a ratio of usable heat the heater produces to the energy it consumes to produce the heat. The typical gas heater is 83% efficient. This means that for every $100.00 you spend on gas, you are getting $83.00 worth of heat. At SPP we offer some heaters with efficiencies up to 95%. These are called High Efficiency heaters and are priced accordingly.

Natural-gas barbecues

Nothing says summertime like a perfectly barbecued meal. Making your outdoor cooking experience sizzle all comes down to knowing what to look for in a quality barbecue.

Natural-gas barbecues heat up quickly and typically have the highest BTUs (British Thermal Units). They are also available with multiple burners with individual temperature controls, which will enable you to simultaneously cook different foods at different temperatures. Added features include temperature indicators, side burners, back burners and storage cabinets. The greatest benefit of the natural gas barbecue is the readily accessible, unending supply of fuel; unlike propane systems which need to be refilled.

Electronic Ignition Systems

The electronic ignition system in a gas furnace is a modern development that allows more reliable performance than standing pilot furnaces, provides energy savings and contributes to better furnace efficiency (AFUE). With a standing pilot, found most commonly on older low efficiency furnaces (55% to 65% AFUE is not uncommon), a small gas flame is always burning and is known in the lexicon of home repair as a “pilot light”. The problem with this type of “analog” ignition is that it wastes energy by constantly burning gas and can sometimes be unreliable.

It is important to understand some of the other components of a modern furnace that you will encounter depending on the type of high efficiency furnace you have. Why? Because they can also come into play in repairing an electronic ignition furnace when it won’t run properly. Let’s take a quick review of the types of furnace designs and components found in high efficiency furnaces using electronic ignition.

Replacing Your Furnace

There are usually two major reasons why you are choosing another forced-air furnace. The first is that your furnace does not function. It has just broken down, irrevocably, or it has been “red-tagged” or condemned by gas inspectors. If it is winter and your house is getting colder quickly, you may not have the luxury of making a reasoned choice on what to buy next. The other situation is that your furnace is getting old, or your fuel bills are becoming too excessive to tolerate. In this case, you have the time to shop around and get the best furnace and fuel for your situation.

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