Thursday, June 28, 2012

If it looks like this- it's time to give us a call!

If your air conditioner looks like this it is probably costing you a arm and a leg in utility bills during the summer months. It is time for a upgrade.. Visit Sandium.Com to set up an appointment to look at new air conditioners. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

10 Tips on Buying a New Air Conditioner

This informative guide will tell you everything you need to know to find the perfect air conditioner for your home.

Although this review is most relevant to people living in the USA, other readers may still find it useful. Portable and central air units are outside of the scope of this guide.

1. Should I buy an air conditioner?

You should consider buying one during the spring "rebate" season if your current unit is old and you are worried about its reliability. A new unit can also be a good idea if your old unit has an 8-EER or less. During the summer, units are expensive and have limited availability. However, if your old AC unit is broken then you have no choice.

Most companies have rebates in the March-June timeframe and the new, more efficient models appear in the spring. Although you can get some bargains after the season, a warm summer can leave pretty slim pickings. Don't forget that your warrantee starts on the day you buy it, so buying in the fall effectively shortens the warrantee.

2. What type of air conditioner do I need? 

Air conditioners come in four main types: window units, through the wall units, portable units and whole house/central air units. Window units come in three main flavors: double-hung windows, sliding windows and casement windows.

Window units will usually convert between types with special hardware, which is often included. Small through the wall units will often convert into window units. Large through the wall, and central air units usually require professional installation, which adds to the cost.

3. What features do I need? 

You should expect the unit to have an adjustable thermostat, at least two cooling speeds, two fan speeds and an energy efficient setting, which stops the fan when the unit is not cooling. The unit should have an adjustable vent, which allows you to aim the cool air, and an exhaust vent setting allowing fresh air to be introduced from outside. The filter should be easily accessible for removal and cleaning. You want a manufacturer's warrantee for at least 5 years, with full replacement for at least 1 year.

Some of the newer units have an electrostatic filter available either standard or as an option. This filter will remove extremely small particles from the air. This is a super feature for people with allergies.

4. What is EER? 

EER or Energy Efficiency Ratio is a measure of how efficient a particular air conditioning unit is. The higher the number, the more efficient the unit and the less it will cost each year to run. Small units currently have a top EER of about 11, while the most efficient large units have an EER of about 13. Don't be fooled by the ranges shown on the yellow tags. The top rated units are often beyond the range.

5. What cooling capacity do I need? 

Cooling capacity is measured in BTU/hour. (British Thermal Units per Hour) The higher the number, the more powerful the unit is. A small room of 150 square feet may only need a 5000 BTU/Hour unit, whereas a room of 1200 square feet may need a 19,000 BTU/Hour monster.

However, room size is not the only factor that contributes to the capacity. There are many other factors including:

· the number and size of the windows
· the direction the room faces
· the available shade
· how well the room is insulated
· how many people use the room
· what appliances (computers etc.) are in the room

The little chart the salesman uses is woefully inadequate. The easiest way to calculate the required size is to use one of the on-line guides. There are many available. Look to see what figures the guide of your choice requires, then measure your room. I liked the one in the free area of the Consumer Reports site best:

It is important to get a unit as close to the correct capacity as possible. Too small a unit may not be able to cool the room on a hot day. Too large a unit will cost more to operate. It may also cool the room too quickly and leave excessive moisture in the air.

6. How much will it cost to run? 

The number printed on the yellow tag at the store, about 8.4 cents per kilowatt-hour, is the national average cost for electricity, which for most of us is a fantasy. Try not to laugh too hard when you read it.

The better guides will calculate the estimated annual cost for running AC units for you. You need to enter the cost of electricity in your area, so go find your last bill and last summer's bill if you can. The guide will show the annual cost at different EER levels. Print this out and take it to the store with you.

7. How much does my electricity cost? 

Guess what? Your electricity bill is probably unreadable, I know mine is. Theoretically, you should add the generation cost per kilowatt-hour to the delivery cost per kilowatt-hour to get a true cost. However, many areas charge different rates for different usage and have a surcharge for high usage during summer months. Duh!

An easy way is to divide the total payment by the kilowatt-hours used. Do it for your last bill and for last summer's bill and use the higher of the two numbers. This number is not totally accurate, but it works well. (The number should be about 5-50 cents. If it isn't you probably did the sum wrong.)

Don't forget. The national grid is old and needs work. Nuclear power plants are aging too, and will cost a fortune to replace. Oil powered generation will be effected by high oil prices. You can bet money that conventionally generated power is not going to get cheaper.

8. How do I calculate the payback?

Start with the EER of your old unit. Subtract 1 from this EER for every 5 years of its age -- more if you never clean it. Use the guide to generate the annual cost for the old unit and for the unit you want to buy. You may have to extrapolate if the figures are beyond the range of your chart. Subtract the two numbers to get the annual savings. Divide the purchase price by the annual savings to get the payback time. If the payback time is lower than the warrantee period, it's like money in the bank. If it is less than double the warrantee period, it is still probably a good buy.

You live near Washington DC which has a cooling season of about 600 hours per year and your adjusted electricity cost is about 25 cents per kilowatt-hour. Replacing a 6000 BTU/Hour 6-EER unit with a 5800 BTU/Hour 11 EER unit will save about $60 a year. If you pay $300 for the new unit then you will get your money back in 5 years.

9. Which AC should I buy?

You should buy the unit of the correct capacity and type that has the highest EER, if you can afford it. Buying a unit of lower EER that costs less is usually a false economy. However, in areas with very short cooling seasons, or extremely cheap power, a lower cost unit may be a good buy.

(Use your guide to find the annual cost to run the two units. Multiply the difference by the length of the warrantee. Add that number to the cost of the lower unit. Is it still a bargain?)

Of course, common sense still applies so follow the normal rules:

· Check the unit at on-line rating services like
· Use on-line price comparison services to find the going "street" price.
· Consult the manufacturer's site for the EER, BTU/Hour and list price.
· Check the manufacturer's site for rebates.

10. Where should I buy it?

AC units are heavy so it is generally better to buy locally. Make sure the store is an Authorized Dealer or some manufacturers will not honor warrantees and rebates. If you are out in the boonies, consider shopping on-line. Look for companies with free delivery, and make sure you check the store out with rating services like and

Always use a credit card. If there is a problem, the credit card provider will beat up the store far more effectively than you can. Use your gold or platinum card to "double" the duration of full replacement warrantee -- usually up to an extra year.

If the unit requires professional installation, see if the store can recommend someone and factor that cost into your decision. Make sure the installer is licensed and insured. Check with the Better Business Bureau.

For more info on choosing the right air conditioner please visit Sandium.Com
original article from epinions

Support Your Local Farmer

I remember when I was a kid and we only bought our strawberries from our local farm stand. We knew the farmer. Been farming in our town for longer than we lived there. I miss those days. The strawberries were warm and sweet. All of the fruits and veggies were of superior quality and we knew where they came from.

Today we are so busy that we forget about our local farmer. We rush to Walmart or some other grocery store to pick up our produce, it doesn't have the same superior quality that something grown local does. Not to mention it may have came from another country when you could have supported someone in your home town. So please support your local farmer- head out to the farmers markets and flea markets. Here is a list to get you started. Bay Area Farmer's Markets

Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer Energy Tips

These tips are designed to help you choose effective ways to reduce your energy bills. Some measures may not be relevant depending on climate, the age of your home and appliances, and past improvements made to your home.
The savings numbers are based on your total summer electric bill. Equipment mentioned must be electric powered for estimates to be accurate.

The average home spends about $1,900 a year on energy costs. But you can lower your energy bills and help save the environment at the same time!
Be a speedy chef

  • Nothing is more energy efficient for cooking than your microwave. It uses two-thirds less energy than your stove.

Push a button to wash your dishes

  • Surprise! Your dishwasher uses less water than washing dishes by hand. Then let dishes air-dry to save even more!

Fill up the fridge

  • Having lots of food in your fridge keeps it from warming up too fast when the door is open. So your fridge doesn't have to work as hard to stay cool.

Cutting back unnecessary energy use is an easy way to reduce energy consumption while saving money. Here are some additional suggestions you can do at home, at absolutely no cost to you.
Turn up your thermostat
Set your thermostat to 78 degrees when you are home and 85 degrees or off when you are away. Using ceiling or room fans allows you to set the thermostat higher because the air movement will cool the room. Always take into account health considerations and be sure to drink plenty of fluids in warm weather. (Save: 1 - 3 percent per degree, for each degree the thermostat is set above 72 degrees)
Use your appliances wisely
To help prevent electricity outages, avoid running your appliances during peak hours, -- from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. -- or anytime an electricity emergency is declared.
  • Do your laundry efficiently by using the warm or cold water setting for washing your clothes. Always use cold water to rinse clothes. (Save: 4 percent)

  • Line dry clothes whenever you can. (Save up to 5 percent)

  • When you need to use the dryer, run full loads, use the moisture-sensing setting, and clean the clothes dryer lint trap after each use. (save: 0.5 percent)

  • Conserve energy by running your dishwasher only when it is fully loaded, and turn off the dry cycle and air dry dishes instead. (save: 1 percent)
Operating swimming pool filters and cleaning sweeps efficiently
  • Reduce the operating time of your pool filter and automatic cleaning sweep to fourto five hours, and only during off-peak time. (Save: 1-2 percent per hour of reduction)
Eliminate wasted energy
  • Turn off appliances, lights and equipment when not in use. (Save: 2%)

  • Unplug electronic devices and chargers when they aren't in use-most new electronics use electricity even when switched "off." Turn computers and printers off at the power strip. (Save: 1-2 percent)

  • Unplug or recycle that spare refrigerator in the garage if you don't really need it. This will save you up to $150 per year! (Save: 10-20 percent)

Make a quick trip to your local hardware store to purchase inexpensive energy-saving tools and equipment.
Replace air conditioner filters
Dirty filters restrict airflow and can cause the system to run longer, increasing energy use. Replace filters monthly for maximum benefit. (Save: 1-2 percent)
Plug your home's leaks
Weather-strip, seal, and caulk leaky doors and windows and install foam gaskets behind outlet covers. (Save: up to 2 percent)
Choose ENERGY STAR® products

  • Buy ENERGY STAR® certified table lamps and light fixtures, and replace your incandescent light bulbs that are used more than two hours per day with ENERGY STAR® compact fluorescent bulbs. For example, install compact fluorescent bulbs in your porch light if you leave it on overnight. (Savings: for each bulb you'll save 0.2 percent for each hour the bulb operates on a typical day. Therefore, replacing an incandescent bulb that burns 10 hours per day will save 2 percent)

  • Buy ENERGY STAR® certified torchieres. (Save: up to 1 percent for each hour/day that it's on)

  • Install an ENERGY STAR® programmable thermostat. (Save: 1-3 percent)

Planning to do some remodeling soon? Time to replace old appliances? Consider these energy efficiency suggestions when you make purchases.
Install a whole house fan
A whole house fan is permanently installed in your attic and draws cool air into your home through the windows while forcing hot air out through your attic vents. Use after sundown when the outside temperature drops below 80 degrees, and in the early morning to cool your house and help reduce your air conditioning use. (Save: up to 5 percent)
Install window shading
Install patio covers, awnings, and solar window screens to shade your home from the sun. For additional future savings, use strategically planted trees, shrubs and vines to shade your home. (Save: 5 percent)
Solar control window films applied to existing glass in windows and doors is an effective method to reduce peak demand during hot months and conserve energy anytime air conditioning might be required. In addition to the energy management benefits, the use of these films can also reduce exposure to ultraviolet radiation and reduce glare. Vist theInternational Window Film Association for more information. (save 5-10 percent)
Invest in a new air-conditioning unit
If your air conditioner is on the way out, buy an ENERGY STAR® air conditioner. (Save: up to 10 percent)
Seal your ducts
Leaking ductwork accounts for 25 percent of cooling costs in an average home, so have your ducts tested and have any leaks or restrictions repaired by a qualified contractor. Note: duct cleaning is not the same as duct sealing. As of October 1, 2005, if you install a new central air conditioner or furnace, your ducts will have to be inspected. (Save: 10 -20 percent)
Replace your refrigerator with an ENERGY STAR® model
Refrigerators with a top or bottom freezer design can save you an additional 2-3% on your bill compared to a side-by-side design. (Save: 10 percent)
Increase attic insulation
If existing insulation level is R-19 or less, consider insulating your attic to at least R-30. (Save: 10 percent)
Install ENERGY STAR® windows
If your windows are due for replacement, ENERGY STAR® windows can make your house more comfortable year-round. (Save: up to 10 percent)

For more energy savings tips visit Sandium.Com

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Energy Saving Tips

  • Install these energy-efficient measures:
    • Replace and recycle your old refrigerator and purchase energy-efficient models. Units only 10 years old can use twice as much electricity as a new ENERGY STAR® labeled model.
    • Insulate ceilings to R-38 levels if your attic has less than R-19.
    • Caulk windows, doors and anywhere air leaks in or out. Do not caulk around water heater and furnace exhaust pipes.
    • Weatherstrip around windows and doors.
    • Wrap heating and cooling ducts with duct wrap, or use mastic sealant.
    • Install energy-saver showerheads.
  • When buying new appliances, be sure to purchase energy-efficient ENERGY STAR® labeled models.
  • Set the furnace thermostat at 68 degrees or lower, and the air-conditioner thermostat at 78 degrees or higher, health permitting. 3 percent to 5 percent more energy is used for each degree the furnace is set above 68 degrees and for each degree the air conditioner is set below 78 degrees.
  • If your old air conditioner is on its way out replace it with ENERGY STAR® labeled energy-efficient model.
  • Use compact fluorescent lamps. You can lower your lighting bill by converting to energy-efficient low-wattage compact fluorescent lighting and fixtures.
  • Replace old windows with new high performance dual pane windows.
  • Clean or replace furnace and air-conditioner filters regularly, following manufacturer's instructions.
  • Set the water heater thermostat at 140 degrees or "normal." If you have a dishwasher. Otherwise, set it at 120 degrees or "low." Check your dishwasher to see if you can use 120 degree water. Follow the manufacturer's direction on yearly maintenance to extend the life of your unit.
  • Fix defective plumbing or dripping faucets. A single dripping hot water faucet can waste 212 gallons of water a month. That not only increases water bills, but also increases the gas or electric bill for heating the water.
  • Wash only full loads in a dishwasher and use the shortest cycle that will get your dishes clean. If operating instructions allow, turn off the dishwasher before the drying cycle, open the door and let the dishes dry naturally.
  • Defrost refrigerators and freezers before ice buildup becomes 1/4-inch thick.
  • Install shades, awnings or sunscreens on windows facing south and/or west to block summer light. In winter, open shades on sunny days to help warm rooms.
  • Close the damper when the fireplace is not being used. Try not to use the fireplace and central heating system at the same time.


For more information on how you can save money on your utility bills please visit Sandium.Com

Monday, June 18, 2012

IQAir Perfect 16 Demonstration

For more information on IQAir products please visit Sandium.Com

Air Conditioners & Heat Pumps Installation -- Sandium

For more information on Sandium please visit our website Sandium.Com

Swiss IQAir - Sandium's Whole-House Air Filtration System

For more information on Swiss IQAir Filtration Systems please visit Sandium.Com

Home Energy Assessments

A home energy assessment, also known as a home energy audit, is the first step to assess how much energy your home consumes and to evaluate what measures you can take to make your home more energy efficient. An assessment will show you problems that may, when corrected, save you significant amounts of money over time.

During the assessment, you can pinpoint where your house is losing energy. Energy assessments also determine the efficiency of your home's heating and cooling systems. An assessment may also show you ways to conserve hot water and electricity. You can perform a simple energy assessment yourself, or have a professional energy auditor carry out a more thorough assessment.
A professional auditor uses a variety of techniques and equipment to determine the energy efficiency of a structure. Thorough assessments often use equipment such as blower doors, which measure the extent of leaks in the building envelope, and infrared cameras, which reveal hard-to-detect areas of air infiltration and missing insulation.

If you live in one of our service areas and would like a professional energy audit please visit Sandium.Com

Friday, June 15, 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Selecting and Installing a Geothermal Heat Pump System

Heating and Cooling Efficiency of Geothermal Heat Pumps

The heating efficiency of ground-source and water-source heat pumps is indicated by their coefficient of performance (COP), which is the ratio of heat provided in Btu per Btu of energy input. Their cooling efficiency is indicated by the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER), which is the ratio of the heat removed (in Btu per hour) to the electricity required (in watts) to run the unit. Look for the ENERGY STAR® label, which indicates a heating COP of 2.8 or greater and an EER of 13 or greater.
Manufacturers of high-efficiency geothermal heat pumps voluntarily use the EPA ENERGY STAR label on qualifying equipment and related product literature. If you are purchasing a geothermal heat pump and uncertain whether it meets ENERGY STAR qualifications, ask for an efficiency rating of at least 2.8 COP or 13 EER.
Many geothermal heat pump systems carry the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and EPA ENERGY STAR label. Ask your contractor about special financing or incentives for purchasing energy efficient products, including ENERGY STAR qualified products.

Economics of Geothermal Heat Pumps

Geothermal heat pumps save money in operating and maintenance costs. While the initial purchase price of a residential GHP system is often higher than that of a comparable gas-fired furnace and central air-conditioning system, it is more efficient, thereby saving money every month. For further savings, GHPs equipped with a device called a "desuperheater" can heat the household water. In the summer cooling period, the heat that is taken from the house is used to heat the water for free. In the winter, water heating costs are reduced by about half.
Although initially more expensive to install than conventional systems, properly sized and installed GHPs deliver more energy per unit consumed than conventional systems.
And since geothermal heat pumps are generally more efficient, they are less expensive to operate and maintain — typical annual energy savings range from 30% to 60%. Depending on factors such as climate, soil conditions, the system features you choose, and available financing and incentives, you may even recoup your initial investment in two to ten years through lower utility bills.
But when included in a mortgage, your GHP will have a positive cash flow from the beginning. For example, say that the extra $3,500 will add $30 per month to each mortgage payment. The energy cost savings will easily exceed that added mortgage amount over the course of each year.
On a retrofit, the GHP's high efficiency typically means much lower utility bills, allowing the investment to be recouped in two to ten years. It may also be possible to include the purchase of a GHP system in an "energy-efficient mortgage" that would cover this and other energy-saving improvements to the home. Banks and mortgage companies can provide more information on these loans.
There may be a number of special financing options and incentives available to help offset the cost of adding a geothermal heat pump (GHP) to your home. These provisions are available from federal, state, and local governments; power providers; and banks or mortgage companies that offer energy-efficient mortgage loans for energy-saving home improvements. Be sure the system you're interested in qualifies for available incentives before you make your final purchase.
To find out more about financing and incentives that are available to you, visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE) Web site. The site is frequently updated with the latest incentives. You should also check with your electric utility and ask if they offer any rebates, financing, or special electric rate programs.

Evaluating Your Site for a Geothermal Heat Pump

Because shallow ground temperatures are relatively constant throughout the United States, geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) can be effectively used almost anywhere. However, the specific geological, hydrological, and spatial characteristics of your land will help your local system supplier/installer determine the best type of ground loop for your site:


Factors such as the composition and properties of your soil and rock (which can affect heat transfer rates) require consideration when designing a ground loop. For example, soil with good heat transfer properties requires less piping to gather a certain amount of heat than soil with poor heat transfer properties. The amount of soil available contributes to system design as well — system suppliers in areas with extensive hard rock or soil too shallow to trench may install vertical ground loops instead of horizontal loops.


Ground or surface water availability also plays a part in deciding what type of ground loop to use. Depending on factors such as depth, volume, and water quality, bodies of surface water can be used as a source of water for an open-loop system, or as a repository for coils of piping in a closed-loop system. Ground water can also be used as a source for open-loop systems, provided the water quality is suitable and all ground water discharge regulations are met.
Before you purchase an open-loop system, you will want to be sure your system supplier/installer has fully investigated your site's hydrology, so you can avoid potential problems such as aquifer depletion and groundwater contamination. Antifreeze fluids circulated through closed-loop systems generally pose little to no environmental hazard.

Land Availability

The amount and layout of your land, your landscaping, and the location of underground utilities or sprinkler systems also contribute to your system design. Horizontal ground loops (generally the most economical) are typically used for newly constructed buildings with sufficient land. Vertical installations or more compact horizontal "Slinky™" installations are often used for existing buildings because they minimize the disturbance to the landscape.

Installing Geothermal Heat Pumps

Because of the technical knowledge and equipment needed to properly install the piping, a GHP system installation is not a do-it-yourself project. To find a qualified installer, call your local utility company, the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association or the Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium for their listing of qualified installers in your area. Installers should be certified and experienced. Ask for references, especially for owners of systems that are several years old, and check them.
The ground heat exchanger in a GHP system is made up of a closed or open loop pipe system. Most common is the closed loop, in which high density polyethylene pipe is buried horizontally at 4-6 feet deep or vertically at 100 to 400 feet deep. These pipes are filled with an environmentally friendly antifreeze/water solution that acts as a heat exchanger. In the winter, the fluid in the pipes extracts heat from the earth and carries it into the building. In the summer, the system reverses and takes heat from the building and deposits it to the cooler ground.
The air delivery ductwork distributes the heated or cooled air through the house's duct work, just like conventional systems. The box that contains the indoor coil and fan is sometimes called the air handler because it moves house air through the heat pump for heating or cooling. The air handler contains a large blower and a filter just like conventional air conditioners.
Most geothermal heat pumps are automatically covered under your homeowner's insurance policy. Contact your insurance provider to find out what its policy is. Even if your provider will cover your system, it is best to inform them in writing that you own a new system.
For more information on selecting and installing geothermal heating systems please visit Sandium.Com
Article original source from Energy Savers

Benefits of Geothermal Heat Pump Systems

The biggest benefit of GHPs is that they use 25%–50% less electricity than conventional heating or cooling systems. This translates into a GHP using one unit of electricity to move three units of heat from the earth. According to the EPA, geothermal heat pumps can reduce energy consumption—and corresponding emissions—up to 44% compared to air-source heat pumps and up to 72% compared to electric resistance heating with standard air-conditioning equipment. GHPs also improve humidity control by maintaining about 50% relative indoor humidity, making GHPs very effective in humid areas.
Geothermal heat pump systems allow for design flexibility and can be installed in both new and retrofit situations. Because the hardware requires less space than that needed by conventional HVAC systems, the equipment rooms can be greatly scaled down in size, freeing space for productive use. GHP systems also provide excellent "zone" space conditioning, allowing different parts of your home to be heated or cooled to different temperatures.
Because GHP systems have relatively few moving parts, and because those parts are sheltered inside a building, they are durable and highly reliable. The underground piping often carries warranties of 25–50 years, and the heat pumps often last 20 years or more. Since they usually have no outdoor compressors, GHPs are not susceptible to vandalism. On the other hand, the components in the living space are easily accessible, which increases the convenience factor and helps ensure that the upkeep is done on a timely basis.
Because they have no outside condensing units like air conditioners, there's no concern about noise outside the home. A two-speed GHP system is so quiet inside a house that users do not know it is operating: there are no tell-tale blasts of cold or hot air.
To learn more about the benefits of geothermal heat pump systems please visit Sandium.Com
Article Original source from Energy Savers

Types of Geothermal Heat Pump Systems

There are four basic types of ground loop systems. Three of these—horizontal, vertical, and pond/lake—are closed-loop systems. The fourth type of system is the open-loop option. Which one of these is best depends on the climate, soil conditions, available land, and local installation costs at the site. All of these approaches can be used for residential and commercial building applications.

Closed-Loop Systems

Most closed-loop geothermal heat pumps circulate an antifreeze solution through a closed loop—usually made of plastic tubing—that is buried in the ground or submerged in water. A heat exchanger transfers heat between the refrigerant in the heat pump and the antifreeze solution in the closed loop. The loop can be in a horizontal, vertical, or pond/lake configuration.
One variant of this approach, called direct exchange, does not use a heat exchanger and instead pumps the refrigerant through copper tubing that is buried in the ground in a horizontal or vertical configuration. Direct exchange systems require a larger compressor and work best in moist soils (sometimes requiring additional irrigation to keep the soil moist), but you should avoid installing in soils corrosive to the copper tubing. Because these systems circulate refrigerant through the ground, local environmental regulations may prohibit their use in some locations.


This type of installation is generally most cost-effective for residential installations, particularly for new construction where sufficient land is available. It requires trenches at least four feet deep. The most common layouts either use two pipes, one buried at six feet, and the other at four feet, or two pipes placed side-by-side at five feet in the ground in a two-foot wide trench. The Slinky™ method of looping pipe allows more pipe in a shorter trench, which cuts down on installation costs and makes horizontal installation possible in areas it would not be with conventional horizontal applications.


Large commercial buildings and schools often use vertical systems because the land area required for horizontal loops would be prohibitive. Vertical loops are also used where the soil is too shallow for trenching, and they minimize the disturbance to existing landscaping. For a vertical system, holes (approximately four inches in diameter) are drilled about 20 feet apart and 100–400 feet deep. Into these holes go two pipes that are connected at the bottom with a U-bend to form a loop. The vertical loops are connected with horizontal pipe (i.e., manifold), placed in trenches, and connected to the heat pump in the building.


If the site has an adequate water body, this may be the lowest cost option. A supply line pipe is run underground from the building to the water and coiled into circles at least eight feet under the surface to prevent freezing. The coils should only be placed in a water source that meets minimum volume, depth, and quality criteria.

Open-Loop System

This type of system uses well or surface body water as the heat exchange fluid that circulates directly through the GHP system. Once it has circulated through the system, the water returns to the ground through the well, a recharge well, or surface discharge. This option is obviously practical only where there is an adequate supply of relatively clean water, and all local codes and regulations regarding groundwater discharge are met.

Hybrid Systems

Hybrid systems using several different geothermal resources, or a combination of a geothermal resource with outdoor air (i.e., a cooling tower), are another technology option. Hybrid approaches are particularly effective where cooling needs are significantly larger than heating needs. Where local geology permits, the "standing column well" is another option. In this variation of an open-loop system, one or more deep vertical wells is drilled. Water is drawn from the bottom of a standing column and returned to the top. During periods of peak heating and cooling, the system can bleed a portion of the return water rather than reinjecting it all, causing water inflow to the column from the surrounding aquifer. The bleed cycle cools the column during heat rejection, heats it during heat extraction, and reduces the required bore depth.

To learn more about the different types of geothermal heat pumps please visit Sandium.Com

Article original source from Energy Savers

Geothermal Heat Pumps

Geothermal heat pumps (sometimes referred to as GeoExchange, earth-coupled, ground-source, or water-source heat pumps) have been in use since the late 1940s. Geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) use the constant temperature of the earth as the exchange medium instead of the outside air temperature. This allows the system to reach fairly high efficiencies (300%-600%) on the coldest of winter nights, compared to 175%-250% for air-source heat pumps on cool days.

While many parts of the country experience seasonal temperature extremes—from scorching heat in the summer to sub-zero cold in the winter—a few feet below the earth's surface the ground remains at a relatively constant temperature. Depending on latitude, ground temperatures range from 45°F (7°C) to 75°F (21°C). Like a cave, this ground temperature is warmer than the air above it during the winter and cooler than the air in the summer. The GHP takes advantage of this by exchanging heat with the earth through a ground heat exchanger.
As with any heat pump, geothermal and water-source heat pumps are able to heat, cool, and, if so equipped, supply the house with hot water. Some models of geothermal systems are available with two-speed compressors and variable fans for more comfort and energy savings. Relative to air-source heat pumps, they are quieter, last longer, need little maintenance, and do not depend on the temperature of the outside air.
A dual-source heat pump combines an air-source heat pump with a geothermal heat pump. These appliances combine the best of both systems. Dual-source heat pumps have higher efficiency ratings than air-source units, but are not as efficient as geothermal units. The main advantage of dual-source systems is that they cost much less to install than a single geothermal unit, and work almost as well.
Even though the installation price of a geothermal system can be several times that of an air-source system of the same heating and cooling capacity, the additional costs are returned to you in energy savings in 5–10 years. System life is estimated at 25 years for the inside components and 50+ years for the ground loop. There are approximately 50,000 geothermal heat pumps installed in the United States each year.
To learn more about geothermal systems please visit Sandium.Com
Original source of article Energy Savers

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Environmental HVAC Retrofitting Services

Hopefully we get smarter as we get older.  This is also true of our heating, ventilation, and air conditioning industry.  Over time our industry has learned how to design and install systems that are safer and more energy efficient.  50 years ago, energy costs were low and we had little understanding of the long-term effect of our environmental footprint.
We take a whole-house approach to make home perform better.  Some call this a “green” approach, but we have seen homes that are called green, but are anything but.  To us, a home is not green unless it performs well.  A home that performs well will
  • provides healthy filtered air to occupants. We used some of the best filtration equipment in the world to keep your lungs happy!  We have staff trained in air quality testing and consulting that can identify and solve indoor air quality problems related to indoor contamination from mold, allergens, dust mite, and volatile organic chemicals (VOCs)
  • uses equipment that is “right-sized” – not over sized.  A well designed heating and cooling system is a system that works behind the scenes to keep you healthy and comfortable. If you notice every time your equipment turns on and off – then something was not designed properly.
  • is comfortable – meaning that the equipment is not noisy and deliver just the right amount of heating and cooling,
  • is energy efficient, meaning that we use energystar equipment and programmable thermostats that installed as part of  whole-house system
For more information please visit Sandium.Com

Healthy Home Audits

We spend so much time in our homes, yet until there is a problem few of us take the time to evaluate just how healthy their home is.  It is a sad, but unfortunate truth, that most people only start to address health issues in their homes when they feel unwell, or when they go to sell the home and they are required to make safety upgrades as part of the real estate transaction. Why wait to fix up your home for the next person when you could enjoy the benefits of living in a healthy home today.

Your doctor can help you deal with your allergy and respiratory problems, but a healthy home inspection can help you uncover unhealthy conditions that may be making you feel unwell.

Your hardwood floors are beautiful, but just below, is a ventilated crawlspace full of dirt, dust, mold, and droppings. Due to the way our homes are constructed, there are plenty of plumbing and electrical openings into the crawlspace that provide a perfect pathway for contaminants to enter your home. 

An estimated 40% of the air in your home starts in your home’s crawlspace. So the key to keeping the air in your home as healthy as possible is to seal penetrations between the home and crawlspace, and to keep the crawlspace as clean as possible. 

A healthy home audit takes a scientific approach to evaluate what is in the air in your home.  We have equipment to sample the air in your home to identify problems such as airborne mold spore concentrations. We test and can monitor humidity and ventilation levels are evaluated. Pollutant sources and pathways that allow airborne pollutants to invade your home.  We use diagnostic monitoring equipment to evaluate swings in temperature and humidity, which uncontrolled can cause indoor mold and dust mite issues.  Sensitive meters are used to identify spikes in airborne particulate and chemical concentrations.  Safety tests are conducted to determine your exposure to deadly carbon monoxide or inadequate ventilation

For a Healthy Home Inspection in the South Bay Area of CA please visit Sandium.Com

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pizzeria Piana in Sunnyvale, CA

Are you looking for a good pizza pie in Sunnyvale, Ca? Looking for a locally owned place? Look no further than Pizzeria Piana at 1287 South Mary Ave 408-245-7177. Or you can visit their website Pizzeria Piana. Here are a few testimonials from happy pizza eating customers:

What can I say but this place is nothing short of.amazing.
I love the amazing pizza with crust that dwarfs anything else in the bay.
On top of that the staff is super friendly and amazingly helpful.
The sad news for me is just moved away and that means I will miss out.
But I will visit and get my favorite which is the Italian deli with falafel.
I will miss this place, thanks to all the staff keep up the great work.
It's really hard to find a good pizza place that knows how to make a good crust on their pizza. A lot of places I've been have soggy and limp crusts where the toppings slide right off when you pick it up. Piana did it right and tasty. Good amount of toppings and all fresh too. I plan on coming back to try more menu items.
Just done eating Chicken Gyro that i ordered and i have to say that it was delicious. Will be looking forward to order in future.

"A Slice of Sicily"
Pizzeria Piana
Pizzeria Piana, in Sunnyvale, CA is a locally owned Pizza Delivery, Carryout restaurant, featuring Gourmet Pizza, Pasta & Italian, made from our original recipes and the freshest ingredients. Featuring our own special recipe for our tomato based Pizza Sauce and our own very special Piana’s Pizza Cheese Blend, cheeses by  Absolutely the finest Wisconsin cheeses money can buy. For Pasta, again using our own recipes, we make a very special Meat and a Marinara (Tomato Veggie) Sauce. Each Pizza or Pasta is made fresh to order and oven baked. Our Salads are made only with Hearts of Romaine Lettuce and the freshest of vegetables. Nothing is pre-made.  Pizza & Bread dough is handmade daily, cheese is hand grated and vegetables are personally prepared.  Pizzeria Piana  prides itself in providing the finest quality Pizza, Pasta & Italian Dishes available for Delivery or Carryout.  We are proud to be serving Pizza - Pasta - Paninis to Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Los Altos, Mountain View & Santa Clara.

We offer Pizza Delivery  to the following zipcodes in Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Los Altos, Mountain View and  Santa Clara:

Some of our story that makes us different:

 ·         Quality dough handmade daily with the highest grade flour

·         Highest grade sauces with local vine-ripened tomatoes

·         Only Stanislaus (from Modesto) Tomato Products in our sauces

·         Extra Virgin Olive Oil in our dough and sauces and recipes

·         Exclusive blend of premium hand-grated cheeses

·         Grande Cheese – absolutely the finest Wisconsin cheeses ""

·         Freshest garden toppings
·         40+ Topping choices – traditional, specialty and gourmet

Pizzeria Piana was founded by Lynn Guidera Brumfield and the name comes from the village inSicily from which her family comes:  “Piana degli Albanesi”.
It was developed to serve her favorite recipes for Pizza & Pasta in Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Los Altos, Mountain View and Santa Clara.
Welcome to Pizzeria Piana, thank you for trying us and we hope you enjoy the experience.

Pizzeria Piana Story    

Lynn Marie Guidera Brumfield was co-founder of Pizzeria Piana along with her husband of 33 years, Barry.  They founded “Piana” in the hopes of providing others with quality, fresh Pizza & Italian foods in the tradition of her Sicilian family.  Lynn passed away in November 2008 from cancer, but her hopes, dreams and desires are being carried on by her husband and her outstanding staff.  Her ever pleasant personality and desire to provide the customer with good food lives on at Piana. She hopes from afar that you enjoy your experience with Pizzeria Piana. 

Testimonials from our Customers


We needed out duct work worked on and our heater service. We knew that a 20+ old furnace might need to be replaced. Not saying we were excited about this prospect but Sandium helped ease the pain of a new system. I found them through yelp and PG+E. From the moment I spoke to Tyler, I knew he was a cool guy. We scheduled an appointment and he was upfront and honest about all the alternatives. The best way to go was through a rebate program.
The crew that worked on the project was nice and courteous. Chava was the manager and he was great.  A real nice guy and a guy that was looking out for us at every turn. 
The only bummer thing was a rebate that was offered on our unit did not go through. It had expired before we could take advantage of it.

Rox R

January 7, 2012

I had my first introduction to Sandium yesterday.   Nik from Sandium came out to my house to give me a quote request.   I have dealt with dozens of trades people in the past twenty years of living in the bay area and must say that Nik came across as a REAL professional who knows his trade cold.   Given he is one of the co-owners I am not surprised to see the man five star ratings others have posted for Sandium.  They certainly passed the first step I look for a company I want to deal with - do they know their stuff and are are they current, are they courteous, and are they willing to take the time to understand your needs and priorities.

Bay Area, Savvy Consumer

Sandium installed an air sourced heat pump for us.  A part was defective (from the factory) so we didn't have heat for two days, but I would use them again in a heart beat!  They worked long hours to fix the problem, communicated with us about everything, were very clean and professional.  I've recommended them to friends and they were equally pleased with the work.
I highly recommend Sandium for A/C work.

When shopping for A/C installation two years ago for my new home, I talked to three different A/C specialists. Sandium stood head and shoulders above the other service providers I spoke to. Nik was the lead pre-sales consultant. He was incredibly professional, timely, excellent at answering all of my questions. He did a thorough on-site inspection before and helped make an excellent recommendation on the specific unit to install in my house. We wanted to make sure we had a unit that would run efficiently and quietly, but we also have a very small patio area in which to place the fan/condenser outside the house. He explained that unit would cost a bit more, but we'd probably be happy with it. And he's right. When our neighbor's A/C is running at the same time, it's louder than ours when we're standing right next to it.

The labor costs were just a bit more expensive than two other service providers I also shopped, but the service, thoroughness and professionalism were well worth it. I was confident that Sandium would do great work, and they did.

One thing I really appreciated with Nik's insistence that the builder of our house provide us with the duct leakage test results before doing the A/C installation. He didn't want to charge us to do it if it wasn't needed, but he said it would save us a lot of money if we were sure the ducts were well sealed before we went forward with the installation. He explained that most builders in new home developments only sample test a few homes but variances can be large from home to home. The builder eventually provided us home-specific the records to show that we were within normal leakage allowances.

On the day of installation, the technician showed up on time, explained everything he was doing, did thorough testing, and was very respectful. He wore shoe covers whenever he needed to come in the house. Everything went smoothly with the installation. During testing, it was discovered that a fuse would need to be upgraded to 30 amps to handle the load of our AC unit. They didn't have one in the truck, but came back the very next day and replaced it, tested it thoroughly, and without any additional charge.

Sandium also saved me money a few months after the A/C was installed when we decided to have paver stones installed in our patio. The paver stone vendor had said that we'd need to have the A/C unit removed and reinstalled for them to do the work. I called Sandium to ask them to do the work, and they said, "No, let me talk to the contractor you're working with. We shouldn't have to do that." They spoke to the paver stone contractor and, sure enough, the paver guys agreed that they could work around the unit and still do a good job. And they did. Sandium saved us $500-600 of labor with that phone call. I'm not sure that another A/C company would have said no to the opportunity for a $500-600 job.

I can't recommend these guys enough.