How Do Electronic Air Cleaners Work?

Posted by Kevin Carney on December 12th, 2014

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The air that you breathe in your home every day may not be as clean as you think it is. Sure, you vacuum and dust whenever you can, but this sometimes just kicks up dust and sends it back into the air. But what about your home air conditioning and heating system’s filter? Most ducted HVAC units contain a filter that can eliminate particles from the air as it passes into your unit. But this filter is only effective at straining out larger particles. A typical home air filter can only remove particles about 5 micrometers in length, while more efficient home air filters with a higher MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) rating may remove particles of 1 micrometer.

This means that your filter may miss hazardous particles in the air that can aggravate allergies or other respiratory symptoms, such as mold spores, smoke residue, and bacteria like legionella. An electronic air cleaner, when installed by a professional in conjunction with your HVAC system, can help to eliminate over 99% of the contaminants that would otherwise pass by. So how do these highly effective systems work?

Electronic air cleaners depend on an ionization process to give a charge to particles in the air. There are two basic types of electronic air cleaners to help improve indoor air quality in Quakertown: electrostatic precipitators and ion generators. It can be difficult to tell whether these systems are operating properly due to their quiet operation, so you’ll want to have a professional install and test it first.

Electrostatic precipitators charge particles as the air is sucked into the unit. Particles are given an electrical charge from ions moving back and forth in the system, and these particles then accumulate on two flat plates in the unit which have the opposite charge. You usually have to clean these plates every month to three months, depending on usage.

Ion generators are a little different, instead sending out ions to charge particles all around a room. Particles receive a charge so that they can cling to surfaces around the room such as a curtain or the walls. This way you won’t have to worry about breathing in contaminants, and they’ll likely be taken care of during your next home cleaning spree.

The professionals at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling can help you make sure you’ve gotten the right type of unit to protect your indoor air quality in Quakertown.

Will a Heating Tune Up Really Save Me Money?

Posted by Kevin Carney on December 4th, 2014

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It’s an oft-asked question: does maintenance really save me money? The answer is yes. We’ll explain more below about how and why a heating tune-up in Pipersville can save you money, but more importantly, if you haven’t scheduled maintenance yet this year, it’s time to do so. It’s recommended that you schedule your heating system for maintenance every 12 months; if it’s been longer than that since your last maintenance appointment, call Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling today and schedule a maintenance appointment with one of our experts.

What Happens During a Routine Maintenance Appointment?

A maintenance appointment doesn’t involve a simple once-over of your system. Instead, it is a full tune-up complete with inspection, cleaning and adjusting as needed. Small repairs are made, and if a large repair is discovered, you’ll be notified about the problem and given the opportunity to schedule repair to correct it. Here is a general overview of what to expect from a routine maintenance appointment:

  • Thorough inspection of entire system
  • Cleaning of components
  • Changing of air filter, if needed
  • Lubrication of all moving parts
  • Safety testing
  • Electrical testing
  • Performance tests
  • Visual inspection of ductwork
  • Small repairs (frayed wires, belt changes)

How Does Maintenance Save Money?

Maintenance can save you money in the following ways:

  • Increases energy efficiency – your system was made to operate at a certain level of energy efficiency. When it is dirty, dusty and worn from last season, it can be very challenging for your heater to achieve its normal level of efficiency. The tune-up your system receives during a maintenance appointment allows the system to operate optimally, which helps it reduce its energy usage.
  • Helps prevent repair – the thorough inspection allows the technician to detect any existing or developing problems; additionally, the small repairs that can occur during a routine maintenance appointment help get you ahead of small problems that can become bigger ones. Reducing the level and incidence of repair of your heater can help you save money.
  • Extends life of equipment – stress causes your system to prematurely age; a system can easily come under stress when it is dirty and worn out. Maintenance keeps your heater in good working order season after season, which helps extend the life of the equipment.

It is almost officially winter – have you scheduled your heating system in Pipersville for a tune-up yet? If not, contact Carney Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning today!

10 Facts You Should Know about Thanksgiving

Posted by Kevin Carney on November 27th, 2014

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Thanksgiving has been celebrated as an official holiday in the United States for over 150 years, so you may think you understand all there is to know about this family feast. Most of us have heard the story of the pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving in 1621 after arriving in North America on the Mayflower. But did you know that only about half of the people on this ship were actually pilgrims? This fact is one of ten things that may actually surprise you about the Thanksgiving tradition!

  1. Although we often consider Thanksgiving a holiday unique to the United States, many other countries and cultures celebrate their own set of harvest-time and thanksgiving traditions. In Korea, Chu-Sok (or “fall evening”) is put on in remembrance of forefathers on August 15th of every year. Brazil celebrates a contemporary version of the U.S. holiday. Chinese, Roman, and Jewish cultures all have a history of harvest celebrations as well.
  2. President Harry S. Truman began the tradition of a ceremony held before Thanksgiving during which the president receives a turkey. George H.W. Bush was the first to pardon the turkey instead of eating it.
  3. In Minnesota alone, farmers raise over 40 million turkeys a year. In fact, U.S. farmers produce about one turkey for every one person in the country.
  4. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the average American will gain about one to two pounds every year during the holiday season.
  5. On the other hand, turkey is naturally high in protein and has been known to support and boost immune systems to protect against illness and speed up healing. So feast on!
  6. Abraham Lincoln issued a “Thanksgiving Proclamation” in 1863, but a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale can be credited with the idea. While Thanksgiving had been celebrated at different times of year in many areas of the U.S. for years, it was Hale, prominent magazine editor and author of the rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” who urged Lincoln to finally establish the national event.
  7. President Franklin D Roosevelt once tried to change the date of Thanksgiving to the second-to-last Thursday of the month in order to extend the holiday shopping season and boost the economy.
  8. Only about half of the people on the Mayflower were what we would consider today as “Pilgrims.” The other (approximately) 50 people were simply trying to find a way over to the New World.
  9. Gobble, gobble! Click, click? While male turkeys make a gobbling noise, females (hens) do not; it’s often described as a clicking.
  10. Even though we celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November, the month of June has been declared National Turkey Lovers’ Month by the National Turkey Federation so you can continue the celebration in the summer as well!

From our family here at Carney Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, we’d like to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

How Effective Is a Ductless Mini Split for Heating?

Posted by Kevin Carney on November 18th, 2014

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Ductless systems have become very popular with homeowners, particularly for cooling. However, some homeowners question the ability of a ductless system to effectively heat their homes. Understanding how a heat pump works helps to answer this question, but for any heating needs you may have, including repair, replacement, installation or maintenance, be sure to hire trained professionals. Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling technicians have been helping customers in New Hope with their heating needs since 1976, and we can help you, too. Call us today!

How Does a Ductless System Heat?

Ductless heating systems use heat pump technology to heat your home. Heat pumps work by transferring heat from one location to another. Refrigerant helps facilitate this transfer. During the winter months, the heat pump absorbs the heat in the surrounding air, concentrates it and then distributes the warm air into your home. During the summer, the heat pump absorbs the heat in your home and transfers it outside. The key to a heat pump’s ability to both heat and cool your home is a component called a reversing valve. This valve changes the directional flow of the refrigerant, which allows the heat pump to change modes. As the homeowner, all you have to do to change the mode is press a button on your dual-mode thermostat; the heat pump does the rest.

Can a Ductless System Heat Effectively?

The simple answer is yes, a ductless system can heat effectively. Here are some reasons why:

  • Customized heating – the indoor blowers in a ductless system operate individually; this allows you to set the temperature as you want it per area. In essence, ductless systems offer zone control to your home.
  • Great energy efficiency – heat pumps use only a small amount of electricity to operate, about a quarter of that of a whole-home air conditioner, and no fossil fuels. Additionally, using the indoor blowers allows you to use only the amount of heating you need, which can help reduce your energy usage.
  • Easily expanded systems – should you add on to your home, or want to have additional heating in another space, it is easy to add on to a ductless system. A single outdoor unit supports up to 4 indoor blowers, so as long as you have the outdoor support, all you have to do is add another blower.

Ductless systems are convenient, durable, energy efficient 2-for-1 systems.

If you are interested in the installation of ductless split heating in your New Hope home, call Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling today!

How Does a Submersible Well Pump Compare to Other Options?

Posted by Kevin Carney on November 17th, 2014

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Many homeowners get their water from their municipality, as water flows from a water main and into the supply lines that lead to the home. But according to the EPA, about 15% of people in the United States rely on private water wells instead. A lot of these homeowners are proud of their wells, as they don’t have to pay for an extra utility and they can control the water quality, never worrying about any chemicals added to the water without the homeowner’s consent.

When you choose a new pump for your water well, you generally have two major options, a submersible pump or a jet pump. Let’s take a look at why about 60% of homeowners rely on a submersible pump to deliver water to the home and provide adequate water pressure.

Submersible and Jet Pumps: How They Work

The majority of well users in the United States have a submersible pump. With this type of unit, the pump and the motor are installed several feet below the well to ensure water is always available. The motor operates a set of impellers, which push water out of the well and into the pipes. A jet pump, however, is not submerged in the well, though the equipment is located nearby, usually in a basement. These instead use pressure to create a vacuum that brings well water to the surface.

Advantages to Submersible Pumps

Submersible pumps are the most common types used for residential wells today, likely because they offer a key advantage. Submersible pumps tend to need fewer repairs because there is a low risk of pump cavitation, which occurs when sudden pressure changes (caused by the jet pump which pulls water in instead of pushing it to the surface) create a void in the pipes. Submersible pumps are also popular because they use less electricity than jet pumps.

The type of pump installed for your well will depend on your climate, elevation, and the size of your well, so it may be the case that a jet pump is actually better for your home.

Call Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling to learn more about how professionals install both jet pumps and submersible well pumps in Warrington.

What Happens During a Professional Heating Tune Up?

Posted by Kevin Carney on November 10th, 2014

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It’s getting chilly here in Pennsylvania, and many of you may have already turned on your heating system for the winter. Before you turned your system on, did you schedule maintenance? Maintenance is a tune-up for your heating system in Yardley, and if you haven’t had your system maintained in over 12 months, it’s time to give your Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling technician a call and schedule an appointment.

What Happens?

Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling performs maintenance for all combustion heating systems, heat pumps and geothermal systems. Here is a general overview of what to expect from a routine maintenance appointment:

  • Thorough inspection of system
  • Check for corrosion, holes and/or cracks on components
  • Cleaning
  • Lubrication of all moving parts
  • Adjustments made where needed
  • Small repair (corroded wiring fixed, fan belts replaced)
  • Safety tests
  • Check and changing of filter (if applicable)
  • Check of refrigerant (for heat pumps)
  • Check of system pressures (boilers)
  • Check and cleaning of burner assembly (combustion systems)
  • Performance tests

Why Schedule a Tune-Up?

Here are the benefits you and your heating system can gain from scheduling a fall tune-up:

  • Increased energy efficiency – your heating system was made to operate at a certain level of energy efficiency. When it is worn and dirty, it is very hard for the system to achieve this.
  • Helps prevents repair – your technician conducts a thorough inspection of your system during a maintenance appointment to detect any existing or developing problems. This, coupled with the cleaning, adjusting and lubrication the components receive, helps prevent repair needs.
  • Extends life of your system – maintenance keeps your system and its components in good working order; this helps reduce the level of wear and tear on your system, which can help extend the life of your equipment.

It is strongly recommended that you schedule a tune-up for your heating system in Yardley every 12 months.

Winter is just about here, so take some time to call Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling and schedule an appointment with your technician today!

How a Heating Replacement Can Save You Money

Posted by Kevin Carney on November 3rd, 2014

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Replacing your heating system in Warminster presents you with the opportunity to invest in a more efficient, reliable heater. Aging and/or malfunctioning heating systems can cause multiple problems that cost money and time. There are a lot of choices when it comes to installing a new heating system, and working with a trained professional can help you determine what the best system is for you and your home. For over 30 years, Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling has offered comprehensive heating services, so make an appointment with one of our installation experts today.

Reasons Replacement Can Save Money

Wondering how a new heating replacement is actually a great opportunity? Here are some reasons:

Energy Efficiency

Today’s heating systems are very energy efficient. The average lifespan of a combustion heating system is 15-20 years. If your current system is this old or older, it is very likely that you are missing out on the savings a more energy efficient unit can offer. You may also want to look at other more energy efficient options, such as ductless heating. Installing a new heating system provides the opportunity to greatly increase your energy efficiency, which can save you money.

Reliability

No one likes dealing with a broken heating system. An even worse scenario is dealing with a heater that breaks down frequently, causing stress and discomfort, and costing you money. With a new heating system, you won’t have to worry about the unpredictability of an aging system. Instead, you can enjoy comfort and warmth all winter long.

New Lifespan on Equipment

If your combustion heating system is 15 years or older, it is questionable how much time your equipment has left: is it one more season? Is it three? With a new system, you have the opportunity to re-set the clock and take comfort in knowing you have time, reliability and energy efficiency on your side.

A heating replacement in Warminster is a great opportunity for you, your home and your wallet.

If it’s time for a new heating system in your home, call Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling today and schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.

What Type of Specialty Cartridge Do I Need for Water Treatment?

Posted by Kevin Carney on October 27th, 2014

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If you have concerns about the quality of the water coming into your home from the municipal supply, you should look into scheduling installation of a whole-house water treatment system that will take care of your worries—and provide you with better tasting water in the process!

You cannot install a whole-house water treatment system on your own, however. To start with, you won’t know what issues in your water need addressing, and there is a large spectrum of systems available to target different contaminants. Professional plumbers with experience with water treatment will provide you with thorough water testing and then suggest the best system to set up to cleanse your water.

Specialty cartridges for general water filtration systems

One of the tasks that professionals will take care of when it comes to treating the water for your home is helping you to select the right type of cartridge and housing that will address the contamination coming from the municipal water supply. When you have a general whole-house water filtration system installed, you may need these specialty cartridges to target specific problems that a general filter will not fix.

So what sort of cartridge do you need for your home? There are specialty cartridges that can address almost any problem. For example, cartridges can de-ionize your water. If you are experiencing issues from high levels of hard water minerals (magnesium, calcium), a water softener cartridge will assist. Cartridges can also eliminate harmful chemicals that may seep into the water through the ground, such as arsenic and nitrates. If you have issues from bacteria entering the water, there are cartridges that will counteract this problem as well.

But… which one should you have for your general water filtration system? The only way to tell for certain is to have professionals test your water. If you are having a new filtration system put in, ask the installers about what specialty cartridges you may need to make the system as effective as possible.

The water treatment specialists at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling work on a wide variety of water treatment systems in Radnor, PA to purify water in homes: acid neutralizers, water softeners, chemical feed pumps, reverse osmosis systems, UV disinfectants, and more. If you will benefit from a specialty cartridge in your filtration system, you can trust to us to help you select the right one.

If you are interested in water treatment systems in Radnor, PA, give the team at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling a call.

Warminster Heating Guide: Ways to Improve Furnace Efficiency

Posted by Kevin Carney on October 22nd, 2014

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As temperatures dip to uncomfortable lows, you keep your furnace running for longer periods of time throughout the night and day. This can drive up your utility bills, and if you have an inefficient system, it may take longer to heat your home and will have a negative impact on the environment. Sometimes, it seems like the only way to save money is by leaving your furnace off for large portions of the day. However, there are a few simple ways to improve the efficiency of your system without sacrificing any comfort.

Change the Filter

Experts recommend you change the furnace filter about once a month if you use a standard one-inch fiberglass filter, and to clean a washable filter every month as well. Three-inch filters only need to be changed every three months, though this number may vary depending on usage. A dirty filter can restrict airflow to the unit causing your furnace to become overworked, which may lead to various repair needs and could cause the system to overheat.

Schedule Regular Heating Maintenance

Heating maintenance is a service that you can schedule every year with a trained technician. The standard steps of a heating system tune up include cleaning key components, adjusting some of the parts, and performing a full inspection. And if this is done by a trained professional, there is a chance that your system will gain back a large portion of the efficiency that is lost over the course of a year. The parts of your furnace may have worn down slightly since the last heating season. This is standard for any heating system, but a thorough cleaning and adjustment can restore it to an efficient state and ward off repairs for years to come.

Consider a New System

Sometimes a maintenance visit cannot help to overcome the wear and tear accrued by an older system. When your unit is beyond help from heating maintenance, you may consider an entirely new unit that offers greater efficiency and can give you a return on your investment throughout the years. Look at the AFUE (Average Fuel Utilization Efficiency) to determine how much energy your unit uses to heat a home and how much is lost to the surrounding environment.

Call Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling to schedule a heating system tune up in Warminster today!

Signs that You Need a New Water Heater

Posted by Kevin Carney on October 20th, 2014

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Eventually, you will need to call a professional to schedule new water heater installation if your unit is broken down completely and will not provide any hot water to your home. This can come as a surprise right in the middle of a shower or before you’ve completed a large load of laundry. Instead of waiting for your water heater to fail entirely, you may decide that it makes more sense to schedule replacement around the end of your unit’s lifespan. Look out for the signs that your water heater may need replacement sooner rather than later.

  • Leaks: Technicians can repair many leaks on the spot. Sometimes, a technician simply needs to make some adjustments to the temperature, flush the tank, or replace the temperature and pressure valve. However, when the leak comes directly from the tank, there may be no saving your unit, and a sudden flood is a definite possibility.
  • Rust: One of the reasons that water heaters leak is when rust and corrosion wear away the steel tank. Your tank is protected from corrosion via the sacrificial anode rod, and with proper maintenance this should not happen before your unit has outlived its expected age range. However, if your tank does begin to corrode, it will require replacement. This may be indicated by leaks in the tank or discoloration in the water when you turn on a hot water tap.
  • Poor Performance: If your water heater just does not seem to be working the way you would like it to, it could be a sign that your system is approaching the end of its life. Many people inherit their water heaters when they purchase their homes and may be unsure of how old the unit is. Poor performance is a good indication of impending failure, although it could also point to a number of other problems, from a broken dip tube to sediment buildup.
  • Old Age: If you know how long you’ve had your unit, you may simply decide to replace it now before it gives out someday soon. Most storage tank water heaters go about 10-15 years before they can no longer run effectively or efficiently. A new water heater may offer better performance and save you some money over time.

Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling has been dedicated to quality customer service for over 30 years. For water heater installation in Lansdale, give us a call!