Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Blue Bell’

Why You Need Regular AC Maintenance

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Here’s something you should have on your spring “to do” list: “Schedule regular air conditioning maintenance.” An annual inspection and tune-up for your air conditioner is vital for it effective and efficient operation, and the best time to have it done is during the spring. That way, the AC is prepared for the upcoming change to summer, and you can take advantage of the slower time of the year for HVAC technicians to schedule a convenient time for uour maintenance visit.

In Blue Bell, PA, air conditioning maintenance from Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling will make sure your AC is ready for summer, and that you receive the maximum value from the system. Our air conditioning technicians are all EPA-certified and have the necessary skills to make sure your cooling system is operating at maximum efficiency.

Why Regular AC Maintenance Is a Necessity

  • Catch potential repair needs: A key part of maintenance is prevention. Many faults inside an AC will not make themselves immediately obvious to you, but maintenance technicians know how to spot them. The technician will discover places where wear and tear in the system is developing into a problem and notify you of it so you’ll have time to fix it before it becomes worse—or before it causes the system to break down entirely and require more expensive repairs.
  • Increase system efficiency: As an air conditioner runs over a season, it will pick up dust and dirt. This will cause the AC to gradually run less and less efficiently, since it will strain to keep your home cool. This will mean higher bills. Here’s something to keep in mind: the average AC system in Bucks and Montgomery County runs for approximately 2,000 hours a year… more than enough time to build up plenty of dust and dirt contamination and deterioration on parts. Unless you have the system regularly tuned-up and adjustments and cleaning done, you can expect a continual decline in energy efficiency.
  • Ensure long system lifespan: Any air conditioning system comes with a manufacturer’s estimated lifespan, which is often in the 12–15 year range. However, this lifespan is only possible if the system receives regular maintenance. If you neglect routine visits to tune-up the system, all those 2,000 hours of work each year will shorten the AC’s lifespan. This is the biggest expense you can encounter with a cooling system: needing to prematurely replace it with a new one.

Sign Up for Maintenance Today!

When you sign up for a Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling maintenance plan, you will get more than regular visits that protect your AC’s operation. You also receive “Front of the Line Service” to assure that during busy times of the year, you’ll receive priority emergency service from your technicians. Our technicians can handle all AC brands, makes, and models. Put your trust in us for your air conditioning maintenance in Blue Bell, PA.

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Kitchen Plumbing Components: The P-Trap

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Most of the plumbing in a house remains hidden behind walls, in ceilings and floors, or in rooms people rarely enter. Ironically, a part of the plumbing that people often see, the U-shape in the drainpipes beneath the sinks, is one that few people understand. Perhaps because we are so used to seeing this shape, we don’t stop to think about what it actually does.

That U-shape is called the p-trap, and it serves a key function in your plumbing. Sometimes it will require repairs and unclogging; when that happens, call for experts in plumbing in Blue Bell, PA from Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling. We offer same day service, satisfaction guaranteed.

The Basics of the P-Trap

The p-trap (so-called because it resembles a capital P when viewed on its side) traps water after it runs through the drainpipe. Water comes to rest in the dip, and this forms a liquid plug against the escape of sewer gas. The decomposition of waste further down the pipe will rise to exit the drain, but the water in the p-trap is sufficient most of the time to block it.

A p-trap can dry up if a sink isn’t used for a long period of time, such as a sink in a guest room. When this happens, sewer gas will start to escape from the waste water lines and enter the room, creating an unpleasant odor. You can fix this problem easily by running water down the drain for a minute to fill up the trap once more.

The p-trap can also trap other items aside from water: hair, soap scum, grease, and small objects like toys that fall down the drain. This will eventually lead to clogging. Sometimes a plunger will do the job of clearing the clog, but if that doesn’t work, you’ll need to call a plumber to use a drain snake, hydro-jetter, or even dismantle the p-trap’s pipes to eliminate the blockage.

Problems with the p-trap are simple issues for plumbers to resolve, so don’t let mistakes from do-it-yourself solutions beyond a plunger make the issues worse. Call up professionals to handle your problems with your plumbing in Blue Bell, PA. Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling has 30 years of experience to bring to the job.

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Ways to Prevent Drain Problems

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Slow drains and clogged drains are something that most homeowners accept as inevitable, unavoidable hassles. They keep a plunger on hand and maybe a bottle of acidic drain cleaner to fix the occasional plugged-up kitchen sink or shower drain, groan at the inconvenience, and then simply go on with their normal routine. Sometimes, they can’t fix the clog and have to call a plumber to take care of it.

It doesn’t have to be this way, however. Although there’s no way to completely avoid drain troubles, you can reduce them to rare occurrences with a few precautions. For drain cleaning in Blue Bell, PA to help you eliminate most clogs, call up Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling.

Methods that will reduce your drain troubles

  • Don’t pour F.O.G. down the drains: “F.O.G.” stands for “fat, oil, and grease,” three common products of cooking that people often pour down kitchen drains. Although liquid when hot, all three will transform in waxy solids when they cool down, leaving a coating inside drainpipes. This build-up will eventually cause clogging and slow drains. Deposit all F.O.G. into a separate container and remove it to the trash.
  • Don’t pour liquid cleaners down the drains: It sounds like a solution to the problem, but it actually creates more problems. Commercial liquid cleaners are acidic and will damage the interior lining of pipes and can cause drain problems worse than clogs. If you can’t clear a clogged drain with a plunger, call a plumber.
  • Use drain covers on bathroom drains: One of the common troubles that bathroom sinks and showers face is clogging from hair and soap scum. You can reduce this with drain covers that prevent unwanted debris from going down the drain.
  • Have regular professional drain cleaning: Drain cleaning services done either every one or two years, or as necessary, will keep your drains in excellent condition and free from the debris that can build up along the drainpipe walls. Professional plumbers use video inspection equipment to target cleaning and ecologically safe (and non-acidic) additives to help keep the pipes clean in the future. Special hydro-jetting safely washes out the insides of drain pipes with blasts of high pressure water.

You’ll need experts in drain cleaning in Blue Bell, PA to handle the drain cleaning because of the precision equipment required.  Call up Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling and talk to our plumbers about scheduling a drain cleaning visit to help you make clogs a “Once in a Blue Moon” hassle.

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Why Schedule a Necessary Heating Repair as Soon as Possible?

Monday, December 16th, 2013

If your heating system—whether it’s a boiler, furnace, heat pump, or hybrid—starts to malfunction and show signs that it needs to have repairs done, you have to schedule those repairs ASAP. Delaying will only cause you more grief. In this post, we’ll explain why it’s so important that you get those repairs done the moment you can.

Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling has developed a large and loyal client base during our 30 years providing heating repair for Blue Bell, PA and throughout Bucks and Montgomery County. With our same-day service and satisfaction guarantee, we should be your first call when you need to schedule those necessary repairs.

Reasons to Schedule Heating Repair ASAP

  • Prevent energy inefficiency: Your heater may still continue providing you with heat when it needs repairs, but it will lose its energy efficiency because it will need to work harder to maintain its regular temperature. Whether it’s broken ducts, loose fan belts, or rust, that repair requirement will force your heater to drain more power—and you’ll end up paying for that on your heating bills.
  • Fend off larger repairs—or a full break down: Malfunctions in heating systems tend to spread to other components as they worsen. The longer you delay, the more likely you will need more repairs done. You also risk the worst case scenario: your heater shutting down entirely. Any flaw in the system could threaten to bring all the components to a halt, so get the work done before your heater gets pushed to the edge.
  • Avoid work crunches for technicians: The winter is a busy time for HVAC specialists. If you schedule your repairs early, you won’t have to worry about long delays waiting for service when the trouble has turned serious enough that you’ve lost your heating and are stuck in a chilly house.

Call Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling for Repairs

At Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, we guarantee satisfaction with our work. All our technicians are NATE- and EPA-certified, so you will know you’re getting quality service. We won’t leave you in the cold this winter: call us as soon as you need heating repair in Blue Bell, PA, and we’ll do our best to get right out to you and get your heater healthy once more.

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What Causes a Toilet to Run?

Monday, October 28th, 2013

A constantly running toilet is one of the most frequent plumbing problems we encounter in our work. People often ask us what causes a toilet to run and what they can do about it. There isn’t one simple answer to this question; a number of issues can occur in the tank of your toilet that will make it continually run water after it has last been used.

There are two things about a running toilet that you should know upfront: First, don’t panic—a running toilet is rarely a cause for flooding in your home. Second, you need to get it taken care of as soon as possible because of the enormous waste of water it causes. A running toilet can use 2 gallons of water a minute, so imagine the amount of water that will go to waste if it stays running for a few hours.

A plumber will then go down a list of the reasons for that nonstop running. The plumber will lift off the lid from the tank (very carefully, because lids are expensive to replace should they break) and point out the various places where the trouble might lie:

  • The flapper: This seal on the bottom of the tank can become loose from age deterioration. Since it’s supposed to stop water from flowing out of the tank, it will need to be replaced to create a watertight seal.
  • The chain: The chain to the flapper can be tangled or too tight, in which case the flapper won’t be able to close.
  • The ballcock: This valve device, usually near the handle on the tank, controls the flow of water. When the float (see below) rises high enough, the ballcock will shut off the flow. A malfunctioning ballcock won’t prevent the water from continuing to run.
  • The float: This balloon-like object rests on the top of the water, and when it rises high enough, it will cause the ballcock to close off the flow. If the float breaks, it can’t measure the water level.

Hopefully, this advice will help you get to the bottom of what’s happened. If you find yourself confused or worried about your running toilet, don’t hesitate to contact a Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling professional. Our plumbers can fix most running toilet problems in a short time, so you won’t have money going down the drain.

We’re available with same-day service when you need plumbing assistance. Feel free to ask one of Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling’s plumbers in Blue Bell, PA anything: we wouldn’t offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee if we weren’t confident in our answers!

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Heating Guide: HVAC Systems to Consider

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Fall is the right time to install a heating system, either as a replacement or for a new home. It comes between the crunch times for HVAC technicians during the summer and winter, and the Pennsylvania weather is pleasant enough that you can get through a few days without a heater to keep you cozy.

But even though you’ve picked the right time for installation, have you thought much about picking the right heating system? You’re probably interested in getting the same system you had previously because you’re familiar with it but it may be time for a change. If you consider some of the systems available today, you may discover a new option that will give you superior heating power and greater energy efficiency.

If you need help selecting the right system for heating your Blue Bell, PA home, call Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling. We’ve done heating installations since 1976, and we can guide you to the best choice—and install it as well.

Here are a few heating system possibilities:

  • Furnaces: This is one of the most common options for home heating, and you probably grew up with one. Furnaces can use gas, propane, or electricity to power them, but they all distribute heat the same way: forced air through ducts and vents. If you already have ductwork in your home, furnaces are not difficult to install. The newer models also have high AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) ratings, and are much more efficient than older furnace types.
  • Boilers: Boilers send hot water around your home which then radiates heat from baseboards, pipes, or radiators. Boilers provide even and efficient heating, and they operate with little noise. Since they don’t use forced air, they pose no danger to air quality.
  • Heat pumps: This unit combines a heater and an air conditioner into one. A heat pump functions in the same fashion as an air conditioner, moving heat from one place to another. During the winter, the system moves heat from outdoors and puts it indoors; during hot weather, the process reverses. Heat pumps can have trouble with extreme temperature lows, however.

We hope you’ll contact experts to help you make your heating choice. Professionals can also give you invaluable assistance getting the right size of system to effectively warm your home using a heat load calculation. Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling will take you through all the necessary steps, from picking a heater to installing and maintaining it, so that you get the best from your Blue Bell, PA  heating system for years to come. Contact us today!

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Tips for Heating Your Home Efficiently

Monday, September 16th, 2013

As the calendar changes and summer moves into the past, people begin to think about how their energy bills will change with the season. Winters in Pennsylvania can be very beautiful, but also very harsh. You can expect that your heating system will put in a lot work for you during the months that follow. You want to get the most efficient heating in Blue Bell, PA as possible so you don’t see any unpleasant spikes in your power bills.

Efficient heating means finding ways to make your system do the least amount of work possible during the cold months. Here are some tips:

  • Use a programmable thermostat: Modern thermostats come with the handy ability to automate temperature changes. You can set the thermostat to lower the temperature at night, and then raise it before you get up in the morning. If you’re gone during the day, the thermostat can turn the heat down, and then raise it to a comfortable level an hour before you return home. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, consider getting one professionally installed.
  • Seal leaks around windows and doors: You can use the flame from a small candle to discover where cold air is creeping into your home. Try to get these fixed before the temperature drops further, since your heating system will need to fight against these frigid invaders in order to keep the temperature at the level you want.
  • Schedule preventive maintenance: Don’t take for granted that your heater is just fine because you haven’t used it all summer. A professional maintenance check from an HVAC expert will determine if your heater is working at top efficiency, and can also identify any repairs you may need to make to get the most from it.

Although there are many things you can do around the house to prepare for the cold weather, when it comes to your actual heating system you should turn the job over to a professional. Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling offers full service on heating in Blue Bell, PA and throughout Bucks and Montgomery counties. With our 30 years of experience, we are the people to call for your winter heating needs.

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When to Schedule Sewer Repair

Monday, April 29th, 2013

We often take the features of our modern plumbing for granted until they present a problem to our daily life. While our sewer systems are meant to last, having been constructed out of durable materials, over time they endure a lot of wear and tear, and may eventually need professional repair. Let’s look at some reasons to schedule sewer repair. Call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today if you think your sewer line may be in need of professional attention.

So, when should you schedule sewer repair for your Doylestown, PA home?

  • Leak: If you notice wet spots in your yard, or a foul odor wafting through your property, then your sewer line may be leaking into the ground. There are numerous causes for sewer leaks. If your wastewater system is old, then it may have collapsed to old age, or it may have become damaged because of shifting soil density and erosion, possibly from a nearby construction project. Alternatively, a tree root may have exerted enough force on the pipe’s exterior to penetrate it.
  • Clog: Clogs can occur suddenly, perhaps due to a non-organic object getting stuck in your drainage system, or by the slow accumulation of years of transporting wastewater. If you think you have a deep clog within your sewer, and the drains throughout your home are not flushing water, then your may need to have you sewer line inspected. Video camera inspection is the best way to see what’s going on underground.
  • Slow drain: Don’t settle for slow drainage out of your home. It might be caused by hard water, which tends to leaves mineral deposits within your pipes. Over time, these can accumulate and create a hardened lining that restricts the flow of wastewater. Routine drain cleaning is a great way to avoid slow drains and clogs.

If you have any doubts about your sewer line, then don’t hesitate to call a professional. When you need sewer repair in Doylestown, PA, call the experts at Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling!

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Why Replace Your Heating System in the Spring

Monday, March 18th, 2013

While most homeowners are considering cleaning out the garage or arranging their patio furniture when spring comes around, many are quick to forget about their heating system. That’s too bad, because the off-season is an opportune time for replacing your heating system, without incurring any unpleasant downtime without heating. There is a host of heating options on the market today, and if your heating system is over 10 years old, or requires frequent repairs, it’s probably an ideal time to invest in the future of the home, rather than its past. When you’re ready to replace your Blue Bell, PA heating system, count on  Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling for exceptional heating installation. Call us today!

Here are some things to consider for heating replacement this spring:

  • Energy-efficiency. Technological advances have made the heating efficiency of heaters over 10 years old obsolete. Today’s gas furnaces can reach AFUE ratings of up to 97%. Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency measures the amount of heating output against the energy input. This means less waste and increased energy savings. Often, upgrading to a new system will pay for itself in a few years, depending on your heating needs.
  • Prevent heating downtime. If your heater is on its last legs and you’re weighing your options, consider this: do you really want to keep paying to keep that old furnace alive, when you could save money in the long-term by investing in a new heater? Moreover, delaying the inevitable may catch up to you during the coldest months. Spring is a great time to upgrade because you can avoid heating downtime when you really need it.
  • Switch to natural gas. Not only can upgrading save you energy and hassle, making the switch to natural gas from oil also has its benefits. Natural gas is eco-friendly, highly efficient, and available without the associated costs of foreign importation. Gas is known to burn cleaner than oil, with less energy going to waste.

As you tidy up your attic or perform various spring cleaning duties, think about upgrading that old heater in the basement. Doing so can help you save money. For heater replacement in Blue Bell, PA, call Carney Plumbing Heating Cooling today! 

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Water Heater Tip: Reduce Energy From Your Hot Water Heater

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Are you looking to lower the energy use for the hot water heater in your Blue Bell, PA home? While your water heater may not be an obvious source of energy waste, there are small improvements you can make that will add up over time. Feel free to call the energy experts at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling if you have further questions about how to reduce the energy use of your water heater.

Meanwhile, we’ve put together a short list of things you can do to get started today!

Use Less Hot Water

Conserving water in your home is a green practice that the entire family can help with. Once you get into the habit of conserving water, it will be even easier to think about how much hot water you use. Even if you don’t have Energy Star appliances, you can use cold water instead of hot in many instances. For instance, try using cold water to wash clothes. Not only does this save energy by using less fuel to heat the tank in your water heater, but it will also help your clothes last longer. Take shorter showers, or lower the temperature in the shower while you are bathing.

If you own a tankless water heater, consider installing low flow faucets and plumbing fixtures. Tankless models are highly efficient water heaters, but they are even more efficient when used in tandem with low-flow fixtures. Repair dripping hot water faucets and other small leaks. These add up over time, and if you get them repaired as soon as you notice them, the less hot water will be wasted.

Lower the Water Heater Thermostat

While no one wants an ice cold shower, you also don’t need the shower to be scalding hot. Not only is this dangerous, especially for small children, but it is also a waste of energy. You could save up to 5% in water heating costs if you lower your water heater thermostat just ten degrees. Many manufacturers use the default setting of up to 140°F; however, you don’t need to set your water heater thermostat above 120°F to get an adequate temperature for all the hot water applications in the home. Call one of the Blue Bell plumbers at Carney if you aren’t sure where to locate the thermostat or have questions about the proper temperature settings.

Install a Water Heater “Jacket”

If you own a storage tank water heater, make sure that the tank is insulated for maximum energy savings. You can install a water heater “jacket” that fits your specific water heater tank. Call a plumber if you would like to know whether or not your water heater has enough insulation. One of our plumbers can also provide other tips to help you save water and energy.

Start saving water and lowering your energy costs today! Call the Blue Bell plumbers at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling for more advice and tips.

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