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 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!

Montgomery County Heating Guide: How Ductless Heating Works

Posted by Kevin Carney on October 13th, 2014

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Ductless systems have been around for a while, having mostly been used in commercial properties. However, over the last few years they have become very popular choices for homeowners. There can be some initial confusion over how a ductless system works, especially in regard to how it provides both heating and cooling for your home. We’ll explain more about that below, but remember that for any of your ductless heating needs in Montgomery County, there’s only one company you should call: Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling.

How Does Ductless Heating Work?

Ductless heating has two important components:

  • Outdoor unit
  • Indoor blowers

It is the heat pump technology that allows the system to offer both heating and cooling for your home. Heat pumps come equipped with a reversing valve that allows the system to change the flow of refrigerant, thereby creating the two modes of heating or cooling.

The way a ductless system works is that the outdoor unit is connected to the indoor blowers via a conduit that is placed in an exterior wall. The outdoor unit contains the compressor and condenser, and each indoor blower has a small set of coils, air filter and blower fan. The indoor blowers are about 35” long and can be mounted flush against walls or hung from ceilings. The conduit contains a refrigerant line, power cord and condensate drain pipe that runs between each blower and the outdoor unit. An outdoor unit can support up to 4 blowers.

The heating (or cooling) cycle begins when you turn on a blower. This signals the refrigerant to flow and the other motors to start. Each indoor blower operates independently.

Benefits of a Ductless System

We’ve already mentioned that a ductless system can offer you both heating and cooling, but here are some other benefits to consider:

  • Easy installation – there is no need to install ductwork, and installing the equipment is straightforward: the outdoor unit is secured outside and the indoor blowers are mounted. A small 3” hole is drilled into an exterior wall and the two units are connected.
  • Customized comfort – because the blowers of a ductless system work independently, a ductless system allows you zone control.
  • Energy efficiency – with a ductless system, you use only the heating and cooling you need. This helps improve energy efficiency.

If you think a ductless heating system in Montgomery County is a good fit for your home, call Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling today and schedule an appointment.

 

The Best Ways to Maintain Your Geothermal System

Posted by Kevin Carney on October 6th, 2014

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Geothermal heat pumps are a great way to heat your home efficiently. They rely on a renewable heat source, use less electricity or gas than traditional furnaces, and save you money on your heating bills. Geothermal heating has only recently begun to gain widespread popularity, however. Because of this, homeowners may be unsure about how to maintain their geothermal heat pumps properly. Read on to discover some of the best ways to take care of your geothermal heating system.

Clean or Replace the Air Filter

The air filter is what protect the coil in your heating unit from becoming dirty. If you never clean the air filter, it will eventually become dirty enough that it cannot protect the coil. If the coil gets dirty, its heating capability will gradually decrease. Eventually, the coil may become permanently damaged by prolonged exposure to dirt particles. The solution to this problem is simple: clean your air filter. Some air filters are disposable, rather than washable. If you are unsure which one is in your heating unit, ask your HVAC technician. Cleaning or replacing the air filter is one of the easiest ways to prolong the life of your geothermal system.

Check Underground Piping

The underground pipes that serve to draw in thermal energy are a vital part of your geothermal system. Because it is located underground, it is unlikely that this part will need major repairs. However, it is recommended that you have it checked at least once a year to be sure. Depending on the material and the medium used, you’ll want to make sure that the pipes are checked for leaks and any other possible issues that may require repair. This isn’t really something that you can do yourself, but your HVAC professional should have all the necessary equipment.

Our geothermal heating experts service the entire Hatfield area. Geothermal systems require very little maintenance, but they’re not perfect. Let us ensure your geothermal heating system’s health today.

If you haven’t scheduled maintenance for your geothermal heat pump yet this year, call Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling before the weather really starts to turn.

When is the Right Time for a Heating System Tune Up?

Posted by Kevin Carney on September 29th, 2014

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Preventative maintenance is always faster, cheaper, and more convenient than replacing or repairing an entire broken system. That is why it is so important to have regular maintenance done on your heating system. The recommendation is that you get your heating system tuned up at least once a year. What is the best time to actually get it done, though? Read on for the benefits of getting your maintenance done during the fall season.

Timing

Fall is the ideal time to have your heating system checked for a number of reasons, timing being foremost among them. Any system is most susceptible to breakdowns during periods of heavy use. Therefore, it is prudent to have your heating system checked right before you plan on using it regularly. Since your need for heat will likely be greatest during winter, it is best to have a tune up shortly before the winter months begin.

Convenience

The benefit of convenience flows directly from the above point on timing. Inevitably, there will be many people who fail to get their heating system tune up before winter. When their heating system begins to have problems, the demand on service professionals in the area will spike. As you can probably imagine, this slows down the rate of service significantly.

If you wait until your heating system begins to have problems, you won’t just have to deal with not having heat during the cold season. You will also be competing for attention with all the other people who are having similar problems. Getting your heating system tuned up in the fall prevents this whole mess from happening.

Efficiency

Of course, you don’t have to wait to get your heating system checked in the fall. In fact, we highly recommend that you have your system checked as soon as possible if you haven’t already done it this year. However, the earlier in the year you have maintenance conducted, the greater length of time between having your heating system in top condition and putting it under heavy use. The closer your heating system tune up is to winter, the more you can be certain that your heating system is ready to face the cold season.

If you have not scheduled a heating system tune up, call Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling. We’ll make sure that your heating system runs smoothly all winter long.