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The Hendersons, of Kirkland, WA, were recently faced with a big decision when it came to their home heating system. Their electric furnace had died and required extensive repairs to get it up and running again. Rather than spend a large amount of money repairing a system that wasn’t very cost efficient, they opted to have a new Trane heat pump and air handler installed.


Old electric furnace replaced by new Trane Air Handler



The Hendersons enlisted the Bel Red installation team to install a Trane XL16i Heat Pump and a Trane Hyperion XL Air Handler – both top-level solutions.  The Trane XL16i Heat Pump offers an extremely efficient home heating and cooling system. Its two-stage cooling and heating technology offers the ability to manage temperatures in all rooms of the house very easily and efficiently. In fact, the XL16i is one of the most efficient heat pumps on the market. The Trane Hyperion XL Air Handler will work in conjunction with the Henderson’s new heat pump to help circulate air  more evenly throughout their home. Its unique design is unlike anything else on the market today. With its double-walled cabinet design and embedded insulation, it is actually built much like a high-end refrigerator. This technology not only maximizes comfort and efficiency, but also ensures the system runs extremely quietly while it is improving the comfort in the home.


The Bennets, residents of Sammamish, WA, were experiencing some problems with their old furnace and heating system. They were also noticing some low indoor air quality, so they knew the time was right to call in a few members of the Bel Red team. The result – a brand new Trane XC95m furnace that will bring them improved comfort, efficiency and higher indoor air quality for years to come.


furnace before/after


This top of the line furnace model brings extremely high energy efficiency to the home. The fully modulated heating model registers up to 97.3% AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency). Due to its high efficiency ratings, this Trane furnace model is also eligible for up to $250 in rebates. The variable speed fan also ensures excellent comfort within the home.


The new Trane furnace, along with a Bel Red professional installation, will take care of a number of lingering issues the Bennets were experiencing. Their old furnace had cracked heat exchangers, which can be extremely dangerous. Cracked exchanges can lead to a higher risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

When the Hamilton’s, of Mercer Island heat went out, our service technician quickly made necessary repairs to get their heat back on. However, it was clear that the Hamilton’s would need a new heating system. Their furnace was quickly coming to the end of its life.



To replace their old furnace, the Hamilton’s decided to go with a value-priced standard efficiency furnace from Rheem. They chose the Single-Stage PSC Motor 80% standard efficiency value series furnace for the installation. As is the case with all Rheem furnaces, this model comes with a patented heat exchanger, which is extremely compact and provides a faster, more efficient transfer of heat. That will mean a much higher level of comfort for the Hamilton’s during the cold winter months.

Earlier in the year, we wrote about the withdrawal of regional energy efficiency standards (mandating installation of high efficiency furnaces in Northern states) set forth by the Department of Energy (DOE). This was based on a lawsuit brought forth by some in the energy industry, including the American Public Gas Association (APGA) and Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA).  We also posted a follow up with reactions to the withdrawal by some members of home energy industry.


Unfortunately, the courts have not ruled on this settlement, which may now cause problems when it comes to installation and availability of certain furnaces. Several motions in support and opposed to the settlement agreement were filed by intervening parties, or those with a stake in the outcome of this case. Before making a final ruling on the settlement, the court must hear these motions and take them into consideration. This is causing a delay in the decision making process and throwing a wrench in the normal sales, distribution, and manufacturing cycles of furnaces  in regions like ours that will be impacted by the ruling.


As a reminder, the proposed settlement states that the initial plan to set the minimum AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) standards for residential indoor and mobile home gas furnaces at 90% in the Northern region, along with the pending May 1, 2013 compliance date would be vacated. However, as we stated in the reaction, the settlement had to be approved by the court in order to make it final and remove the regional efficiency standards.

Posted by on in General

It’s that time of year. With Spring officially just around the corner, daylight savings time went back into effect this past weekend. If you didn’t remember to set your clocks ahead an hour Saturday night or Sunday morning, you probably have by now.


With these biannual time changes come some important reminders for homeowners. Changing the batteries on smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors is a crucial step toward ensuring the safety of you, your family and other home residents. The batteries in smoke detectors should be changed every six months, which is why the beginning and end of daylight savings time are perfect opportunities to set reminders to do so. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey, only three out of four homes reported they changed the batteries in their smoke alarms in the last six months. We highly encourage you to remember to do so.


Furthermore, and perhaps more often forgotten than the battery changes, it’s extremely important to remember that sensors in carbon monoxide detectors don’t typically last as long as smoke detectors. The sensors in carbon monoxide detectors are only designed to last 2-3 years on average. Maintaining working carbon monoxide detectors is something extremely important, yet something not all homes do. While about 95 percent of U.S. homes report having at least one working smoke alarm, only 42 percent report having a working CO alarm based on 2011 U.S. Census Bureau data. As a reminder, it’s suggested that carbon monoxide detectors (like smoke alarms) should be placed on every floor in the home and outside all sleeping areas.