DB Heating & Cooling, Inc. Blog : Archive for December, 2014

The Composition of Snowflakes: Are No Two Alike?

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

“No two snowflakes are alike.”

This is a statement nearly every schoolchild has heard at least once, either while crafting unique snowflakes with a sheet of folded paper and some scissors or while learning a lesson on the science of snow. While even most scientists don’t quite understand what causes a snowflake to form such complex and beautiful columns and points and branches, one thing is for certain, the composition of snowflakes guarantees that no two will ever be identical.  However, it is possible for two snowflakes to appear to be nearly exactly alike.

A snowflake begins to form when a piece of dust catches water vapor out of the air. Water is created when two hydrogen molecules attach to an oxygen molecule. The two hydrogen molecules are angled from one another in such a way that they form a hexagonal shape when they come together during the freezing process; thus, a snowflake begins as a simple hexagonal shape or as layers of hexagons called diamond dust. The emergent properties that follow from the original hexagon are what differentiate one snowflake from another, as the humidity, the temperature in the air, and many other factors (some of which remain unclear to scientists) allow each snowflake to form in an entirely unique way with a seemingly endless variety of shapes.

However, in 1988, a scientist named Nancy Knight claimed to have located two that were the same while studying snowflakes as part of an atmospheric research project. And it appeared to be so; when put under a microscope, the emergent properties looked nearly identical. But while it is feasible that two snowflakes can appear to be exactly alike on the outside, they are never identical on an atomic level. Deuterium is an atom that appears attached to about one in every 3000 hydrogen molecules in the air. Because there are millions of atoms that make up a snowflake, the random assortment of deuterium in any two snowflakes—even in two that so very closely resemble one another—simply cannot be the same.

Here at DB Heating & Cooling, we’d like to remind you to grab a cup of cocoa and relax with your family this holiday, perhaps by crafting some unique snowflake creations of your own. We wish you a very happy holiday season, from our family to yours!

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How Heat Pumps Work for both Heating and Air Conditioning

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

More and more homeowners countrywide are installing heat pumps for their myriad of benefits. Perhaps the most unique benefit to using a heat pump, however, is its ability to act as both a heater and an air conditioner. Let’s examine how this functionality is made possible, and why it’s such a huge advantage for the heat pump over other systems.

Anatomy of a Heat Pump

In order to understand how a heat pump can switch functions, you must first understand the different parts of a heat pump. There are two main parts we’ll be discussing in this part, the interior unit and the exterior unit. As you might have guessed, the interior unit is inside the house while the exterior unit is outside. These two units are connected by a refrigerant line, which flows into a coil housed in each one. These coils are the most important part of the system. When the heat pump is turned on, one coil will evaporate refrigerant while the other will condense it back into liquid. When the refrigerant evaporates, it leeches thermal energy out of the air and into the coil. When the refrigerant is condensed back into liquid, it releases the captured thermal energy so that the system can heat the house.

The Reversing Valve

The key to the heat pump’s dual functionality is a part called the “reversing valve.” In a normal system, like an air conditioner, the refrigerant flows only one way between the two coils. There’s a condenser coil and an evaporator coil, and the two never switch. The reversing valve works by reversing the flow of refrigerant, thereby making the condenser coil the evaporator coil and vice versa. This means that each coil can either take heat from the area around it or release heat instead. It is in this way that the heat pump can move heat back and forth in either direction between the house and the outside air.

If you’d like to know more about heat pumps, call DB Heating & Cooling. We install heat pumps throughout Bergen County.

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What Types of Air Treatment Services Are Available in Hackensack?

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Unfortunately, every time you take a breath, you risk inhaling contaminants that could make you ill or cause sinuses to act up. Luckily, many contractors offer indoor air quality services that help eliminate contaminants which could otherwise be harmful to you or your family members. Let’s go over a few of the most helpful product installations and services you may decide to use in your home to protect the air quality. For superior air treatment services in Hackensack, you should rely on the expertise of DB Heating & Cooling.

Whole-Home Air Filtration Systems

A whole-home air filtration system works in conjunction with your forced-air heating and cooling system to eliminate particles that your home’s air filter tends to miss. The best unit for your home may be one of the following.

  • Air Cleaners: An electronic air cleaner is installed in the ducts and uses high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration or an ionization process to eliminate over 99% of contaminants that enter the ducts.
  • Humidifiers/Dehumidifiers: The level of humidity in the home contributes greatly to your home comfort, and too much moisture or a lack of moisture can affect the quality of the air. High humidity can lead to mold growth while no humidity means dried out sinuses, in which case a dehumidifier or humidifier may be necessary.
  • UV Germicidal Lights: UV lights can be installed in the ductwork to stop mold growth and kill microorganisms like bacteria and viruses.

Duct Cleaning

Many homeowners are surprised to learn just how many contaminants may be living in their ducts. Dust can cling to the lining of the ductwork and blow into your home as the HVAC system’s fan runs at full speed, knocking particles loose and sending them back into the air you breathe. With duct cleaning, experts use powerful vacuums and brushes to reach hidden areas of ducts and eliminate the problem.

Duct Sealing

Finally, duct sealing is another service that improves the efficiency of your air conditioner and heater and helps to prevent contaminants from moving into your home. If there is a hole in the ducts, particularly around a dusty area like an attic or crawlspace, pollutants can get sucked into the ductwork.

To clean the air in your home with any of these professional air treatment services in Hackensack from trained experts in the field, call DB Heating & Cooling today!

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What Does a Trane Furnace Have to Offer in Bergen County?

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

The most popular heating installation in the U.S. today is the gas furnace. Furnaces are reliable, effective, and efficient, and today’s models can cut monthly costs dramatically over similar furnaces built decades ago. At DB Heating & Cooling, we’re proud to install and service one of the most trusted brands in furnaces, Trane. Trane has been manufacturing heating systems since 1910 and is recognized worldwide as an industry leader in residential heating. Learn more about why a Trane furnace may be the right fit for your home.

  • Options to Suit Any Home: When you need a new furnace, the size and style are both extremely important in making sure you have an efficient, long-lasting system. A heating system that is too small will not completely heat your home and will wear down too quickly, while a system that is too large will use way too much energy. The various Trane furnaces, oil or gas systems from any of their highly efficient models, are available in all sizes so a technician can make sure you get the right unit for your home.
  • High Efficiency Ratings: All Trane furnaces have a high AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) and some even go above and beyond. The AFUE is a percentage that indicates how much of the fuel your system uses actually goes into heating your home. Some of Trane’s highest rated furnaces, in their XL, XV, and XC lines, have an AFUE of over 94%. Compare that to the 50-60% average AFUE of furnaces created a few decades ago and you’ll see instant monthly savings when you replace with Trane.
  • Long Lasting: Trane furnaces are designed to last a long period of time and to withstand the harsh winters here in Bergen County. And when you get annual maintenance from a Trane dealer, you can be sure your system has an even better chance of exceeding its expected lifespan. With maintenance, your unit is cleaned, adjusted, and inspected, which helps you to know about repair needs early on and keeps your unit running more efficiently for longer.

Hear more about the many benefits of Trane furnaces in Bergen County. Call DB Heating & Cooling to speak with a friendly professional today!

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