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In-Register Products May Help With Zone Climate Control

If you have a ducted heating and cooling system, you know that depending upon the physical layout of your ductwork, some areas of your home may be much colder or much warmer than others. To correct this, ducted systems usually come with adjustable covers that you can manually adjust to limit or increase the amount of air that flows through the register. You may also have in-duct dampers that will accomplish the same thing.

Even when you adjust the dampers to accommodate awkward system design, you may end up with cold- and hot-spots in your heating and cooling system. This has less to do with the equipment you use and more to do with the design of the heating and cooling system in the home. Often, big errors (like a single heating and cooling zone for an entire house), can’t be corrected with manual damper adjustments alone. The result is that areas of the house are chronically too hot or too cold to be comfortable.

A new line of in-register devices may allow your home heating and cooling systems to deliver a more consistent comfort level throughout your home, and reduce your energy consumption at the same time. Wireless, battery-controlled in-register dampers can automatically open and close the registers and prevent air leakage to achieve a pre-programmed comfort level. These devices can automatically restrict airflow in areas of the home that are too hot or too cold, and direct more heated/cooled air to areas of the home where additional airflow is needed to achieve your preferred comfort level.

In most homes, between 20%-40% of the rooms are either much warmer or much colder than the thermostat’s set point. This means that you use more energy you need to, and spend fruitless time trying to balance out the airflow in your living space. It also means that you may be heating or cooling areas of your home that you don’t use regularly or that don’t need precise heating and cooling to keep you comfortable.

In-register systems contain a thermostat control unit and electronically controlled register covers that open and close based on the way the thermostat control is programmed. Generally, no modifications are needed for existing ductwork, and no additional wiring is needed to make the system work. The thermostat control unit can control registers within a 20-ft radius, and the register covers are paintable, so you can match them to your existing décor.

These systems offer the benefit of more precise comfort control and a reduction in energy usage. On average, homeowners can expect to reduce their energy consumption by as much as 5% per room when they use electronic dampers to control airflow in their homes.

If you would like more information about in-register dampers and to learn whether this approach may solve your home’s uneven climate control issues, please give us a call at Boston Standard Plumbing & Heating at (617) 288-2911 anytime. We’ll be happy to schedule a consultation! Don’t forget to like Boston Standard Plumbing on Facebook!

World Plumbing Day: A Time To Think

World Plumbing Day – March 11 – is just about a month away, and although it may seem like an odd celebration, it offers us an opportunity to think about something we don’t usually spend a lot of time on: clean water and sanitation. In Boston, plumbing is something we take for granted. Every house has it; every commercial building has it. But there are a lot of places in the world where clean water and sanitation aren’t readily available.

More than 3 million people each year die as the result of preventable diseases and conditions related to inferior water quality and poor sanitation. The majority of deaths occur in children under five years of age. By itself, that’s a lot to think about – especially when you consider that you can go to just about any tap that’s connected to a municipal water supply, and get safe, clean, drinkable water from it 24/7/365, year after year in this country.

Despite our access to clean water and sanitation, water-borne illnesses can still affect us. Relatively recent outbreaks of the SARS virus and Legionnaires’ Disease come to mind as proof that improper plumbing and air-handling can serve as a breeding ground for major threats to public health.

Aside from thinking about the role of clean water and sanitation, it’s also good to think about the role that plumbers play in modern society. Plumbing may not seem like a glamorous job, and it’s not. But according to the World Health Organization, competent plumbers are responsible for a lot:

  • Installing and maintaining safe water distribution and sanitation systems
  • Managing the risks associated with plumbing and sanitation systems
  • Water conservation
  • Plumbing is a trade, but it’s one that evolves over time. In some cases, modern plumbing codes are responses to changes in the way people live, the applications of new technologies and materials, and our impact on the areas in which we live. In other cases, plumbing codes are the products of the knowledge and experience plumbers gain when they handle both clean and dirty water. In still other cases, our plumbing reflects what we’ve learned about diseases, and how they spread in urban areas.

    So, as World Plumbing Day approaches, spend some time thinking about the role of clean water and sanitation, and how much of a difference it makes in the lives of the 7 billion people we share our planet with.

    If you have any questions or concerns about your plumbing, heating or cooling systems, contact us at Boston Standard Plumbing & Heating at (617) 288-2911 anytime. We’re always available to help! Friend Boston Standard Plumbing on Facebook and don’t forget to celebrate World Plumbing Day on March 11.

    Air Conditioning That Cools While Looking Cool

    Without air conditioning, Boston summers may be something of a mixed blessing. Window and ceiling fans may not move air efficiently enough to keep your home comfortable at the peak of the season. The cost of adding air conditioning may put this “luxury item” out of reach for many homeowners. If cost isn’t an issue, the thought of installing (and removing) window air conditioners or unattractive through-the-wall units may be too much.

    If this situation describes you, you may want to consider an option now available from LG called the LG Art Cool ductless air conditioner. The LG Ductless Art Cool system can be configured to offer single, dual or triple zone control, mounts on the wall and requires only a 3″ hole in the wall to connect to an outdoor unit. Best of all, the LG Ductless Art Cool units hang on the wall and can be customized with any artwork that suits your taste. The end result? A low-profile, wall-mounted air conditioning unit that looks like a painting and cools the room at the same time.

    The cooling units provide either 9,800 BTU or 11,500 BTU of cooling power and uses R410 A refrigerant. In addition, the units feature a self-cleaning indoor coil, a plasma air purifying filter, three-way cooling, automatic or manual operations, 24-hour on/off timer, evaporator frost control and corrosion protection for the fins. Optionally, LG makes a version of the Art Cool ductless units that can be attached to a heat pump unit to provide zone heating during the winter months.

    Ductless air conditioning systems are an excellent option for historic homes, rental properties, and for homeowners who suffer from dust and pollen allergies. Boston Standard Plumbing and Heating provides a wide variety of options for cooling your Boston home. We can install, maintain and repair ductless and ducted systems to ensure that you stay cool when the weather warms up. If you would like more information on ductless air conditioning systems, heat pumps, or the LG Art Cool air conditioning (or heat pump) systems, please contact Boston Standard Plumbing at (617) 288-2911.

    We provide excellent heating and cooling services throughout the greater Boston area and can help you add a cool touch to your Boston home. Contact us today and find out why Boston Standard Plumbing’s heating and cooling services were named the Best of Boston 2010 by Boston Magazine.