Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Fort Washington’

3 Common Types of Air Conditioning Repairs

Monday, May 11th, 2015

There are many components and moving parts in your air conditioner, which leaves quite a bit of latitude for problems. However, there are some key areas that our technicians see problems with more often than other parts. This doesn’t mean these parts are faulty; rather, it indicates that these parts are sometimes put to more use than others, and as such, they can develop more wear and tear. No matter what your repair issue, though, it’s important to always call an expert for help, like the ones at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling. We’ve been helping customers in the Fort Washington, PA, area with air conditioning repair since 1976, and we bring this experience and expertise to every job we do. Call us today, and let our AC specialists get your air conditioner back on track.

Continue Reading

Jamison Heating Guide: Boiler Maintenance

Monday, September 24th, 2012

If you own a boiler in Jamison, regular maintenance is very important. Performed in the fall, before your boiler is turned on for the first time, this maintenance will ensure your system works properly and efficiently for the coming months. Here are a few of the tasks performed by a Jamison heating professional during a maintenance call visit:

  • Clean Surfaces – The front and rear doors to the boiler are removed and the surfaces are all vacuumed and cleaned carefully.
  • Gasket Repair – All gaskets on the doors are checked and replaced if necessary to ensure your system works properly. Similar repairs are performed on the hand hole and man hole plates and the low and auxiliary low water cut off controls.
  • Burner and Pilot – The burner plates and pilot light are thoroughly inspected and cleaned. A technician will also check the pilot electrode and then test the pilot to ensure it works as intended.
  • Air Damper – The air damper and blower are both cleaned and tested for potential issues before turning back on.
  • Burner Adjustment – The burners are tested and adjusted for proper combustion and tests are performed to ensure the flame is right. Flame safeguard and safety trip checks are also performed to ensure the system will turn off as needed.
  • Control Piping – The control piping plugs are removed and cleaned, as is the entire pathways between

Boiler maintenance is the most effective way to ensure your heating system continues to work properly throughout the coming winter. Because of the nature of a boiler and the fact that most systems use natural gas or oil, it is important that a professional be the one to perform the above tasks. Call Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling today to schedule your appointment!

 

Continue Reading

What Exactly Are High Efficiency Boilers?

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

You have already read plenty about how energy costs are rising. You know plenty well that heating your New Hope home is a substantial expense, and that the cost of running a boiler is constantly on the rise.

But as technology has gotten better, so have boilers become more efficient at providing heat. It stands to reason that a more efficient boiler is one that costs less to run…but what does “efficient” really mean in the context of boilers? What makes a boiler “high efficiency”?

 What Is a High Efficiency Boiler?

All boilers are rated according to a standardized system of rating efficiency, called the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). Essentially, this rating tells you how much heat energy is produced by your New Hope boiler compared to how much energy it draws. The higher a boiler’s AFUE rating, the more efficient it is.

For a boiler to be called high efficiency, it must carry an AFUE of at least 90%. For basis of comparison, older systems carry an AFUE of about 70%, while mid-efficiency systems run at about 82%.

In addition, a high efficiency system has a second heat exchanger for capturing and condensing flue gases, as well as a closed combustion system.

These three things — an AFUE of 90% or above, condensing flue gases and closed combustion – define a high efficiency boiler.

The initial investment in a high efficiency boiler can be costly, but the savings over time in your New Hope heating bills make it well worth the expense.

If you would like a high efficiency boiler installed in your home, give Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling a call today!

Continue Reading

Five Ways to Save Heat That You Might Not Have Considered

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Finding new ways to lower the heating bills for your New Britain home is always a challenge. Maybe you’ve already insulated and sealed every crawlspace and crack, or you might have recently upgraded that old furnace, but there are always other ways to reduce heat loss in the winter.

Here are five ways to conserve heat that you might not have considered.

1. Insulate Recessed Light Fixtures

While recessed light fixtures save space and give you more control over lighting and design, such as task lighting in kitchens, they can be a hidden source of heat loss. Feel around your recessed lighting fixtures to see if there’s cool air or a draft. If you do, they could need more insulation. However, you have to be extremely cautious about what type of insulation you use around electrical wiring and fixtures. Check with the manufacturer, or call an electrician if you aren’t sure what  type of insulation to use.

2. Insulate Water Heater Tanks

Part of your heating bill each month goes to heating the water in your home. Whether you have a gas, electric, solar, or hybrid hot water heater, every water heater tank has an R-value that determines how much heat it loses. If you have a low R-value, your tank may need more insulation. Call a professional plumber or check your owner’s manual for the R-value of the model you own, but the general rule is that if the tank is warm when you touch it, you may need to buy a “jacket” for your water heater. These are fairly inexpensive, easy to install, and can be found relatively anywhere you buy insulation.

3. Open Curtains on South End

The southern end of your home will get the most sunlight in the winter. If you have curtains or blinds on your windows or doors, leave them open during the day, and make sure you close them at night. Opening them will help warm up the home naturally during the day, and closing them will help keep the cold air out and warm air in at night.

4. Storm Windows and Doors

Many homeowners know they have the option of upgrading old doors and windows that leak air, but not everyone can afford to upgrade all the doors and windows at once. You can also install storm windows and doors to help reserve heat. Before you start comparing prices, remember to measure, since measurements will affect the cost.

5. Close Fireplace Flue

Whenever your flue is open, you are losing large amounts of heat. Close the damper if the fireplace or chimney is not being used. You can also consider upgrading to a more air tight damper.

You can always call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling whenever you have questions about lowering your heating costs for your New Britain home.

Continue Reading

Harleysville Heating Repair Guide: What to Check If Your Furnace Isn’t Lighting

Friday, January 13th, 2012

If your furnace isn’t lighting properly and your family is starting to suffer because of it, there are a number of possible problems you should check for before calling a Harleysville professional. Some of these issues can be fixed quickly by you while others may be signs of a serious problem that needs professional attention right away.

Checking the Pilot Light

If you have a gas furnace, the first step is to check the pilot light and ensure it is still working properly. If the pilot light is still on but goes out when you try to light the furnace or simply won’t stay on when you relight it, you may need to have the gas valve replaced. In some cases, it is as simple as the pilot light not being large enough and the gas blowing out the light.

This happens when gas enters the chamber and doesn’t ignite right away. When it does ignite, which happens after more gas enters the chamber, the extra force of the ignition will blow out the light. This is still a problem and should be inspected to ensure you don’t have any potential gas related issues.

Still Not Lighting

If you don’t have a pilot light or the unit still isn’t lighting, it may be an electrical issue. Electrical ignitions for gas furnaces should spark when the thermostat is turned on, so if it doesn’t you know that the switch or relay are bad.

If you smell gas or anything similar in the room where the furnace is located, you should immediately turn off the unit and call your gas company, followed by a technician. There could be a leak causing low pressure that results in your pilot light going out. Whatever the case, you need someone to look at it immediately.

Your furnace should always turn on when you flip the switch and if it does not, assume there is a problem. If you cannot find the problem yourself and easily fix it, you should call a Harleysville professional. The risk inherent in an improperly working furnace (especially gas or oil) is too high to ignore.

Continue Reading

What Does a Furnace Fan Limit Switch Do?

Friday, January 6th, 2012

When researching your Plymouth Meeting furnace and potential problems it might have, you’ve probably run across a few references to the fan limit switch. And while you know that it can break in a number of ways, do you know what the switch does and what you should look for when checking your furnace its air handler for problems?

What the Limit Switch Does

To put it very simply, the furnace fan limit switch is a control that tells your furnace’s fan when to turn on and off. So, when the furnace isn’t on, it tells the blower not to operate (and send cold air into your home) and when the furnace is on, it tells the blower to turn on and start circulating the warm air.

While the primary function of the limit switch is to turn the blower fan on and off, it also has a safety role. When the temperature in the air supply plenum gets too hot, the limit switch turns off the furnace boiler to keep there from being any damage from overheating. This is handy if there is a blockage in the air vents or the controls are messed up due to water damage or improper adjustments to the settings.

Looking for Problems

Most of the time, when there is an issue with your furnace turning off or on frequently, the limit switch is one of the first things you will check. Because the switch is electronic and is attached to a thermostat which measures temperature in the air supply plenum, a small problem can result in it not working properly. So, you can easily check it by temporarily bypassing the switch and seeing if your device turns on or off properly.

In many cases, if the limit switch is the problem, you will still need to call a Plymouth Meeting professional for replacement, but you can avoid a lot of headaches related to tracking down the source of the problem. If you suspect a limit switch problem, make sure to call someone immediately, because it does provide an important safety function and because without it your furnace won’t cycle on and off properly.

Continue Reading

Buckingham Heating Tip: Signs of an Undersized Furnace

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

If you’re purchasing a new furnace for your Buckingham home, you want to avoid buying one that is undersized for your particular space. To do that, here are some common signs that the furnace isn’t powerful enough for the heating needs of your home. These signs might appear for an older furnace as well, especially as it ages and loses its ability to provide adequate heat for your home.

Maintaining Temperature

The most common (and in many cases only) sign that your furnace is undersized is that the device simply doesn’t maintain the temperature in your home properly. This means that when turned on to full and left for a few hours, your furnace doesn’t heat your home to the thermostat setting.

This can be due to an improper load calculation or a load calculation that wasn’t taken at all. The perfectly sized furnace will heat your home evenly on the coldest day your area is likely to have. So, undersizing should be pretty evident – if it doesn’t heat your home evenly and it’s not exceptionally cold outside, you might not have enough BTUs under the hood.

How to Fix the Problem

The problem is one that varies depending on the severity of the undersizing. Modern furnaces are often available with two stages, meaning they can operate at both a low BTU rating (often around 40K or so) and a higher BTU rating (70K or higher). This is the perfect solution for homeowners worried about undersizing because it ensures that your home always has enough heat in reserve should the weather get exceptionally cold.

For example, most furnaces are sized for extremely low temperatures, but if the temperature jumps up to 50 degrees F outside, your furnace is now oversized for that weather. A two stage furnace offers solutions for both common conditions and extreme conditions and will resolve most of the concern you have about undersizing and not having enough heat to offset outdoor temperatures.

Continue Reading

Heat Pump Settings and Your Comfort Level in Fort Washington

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Your heat pump has a number of settings that can affect your Fort Washington home’s overall comfort level. One of those settings is the fan – which can be set to run automatically when heating is needed or left on continuously so that the device never turns off. Which is better for your home, though? Let’s take a look.

Comfort vs. Economy

The reason there are two settings on your heat pump is that one is more economical. The auto setting allows the device to minimize how often it is on. So, it only turns on when the house needs warm air to maintain the thermostat setting.

On the other hand, the always on setting is designed to provide better comfort. When you leave your heat pump’s fan on continuously, it provides steady heat over time. This means that the temperature remains consistent and mixes the air to ensure there are no uncomfortable pockets of poorly conditioned air in your home somewhere.

Which Is Better?

In terms of comfort level, it depends on your needs. If you’re not too picky about the exact temperature of your home, the auto setting is best because you will save money and it tends to be fairly accurate. However, if you want to ensure you and your family are perfectly comfortable, regardless of the weather outside, the always on setting is the best way to achieve this level of comfort.

Of course, if you’re concerned about the added cost of leaving the heat pump fan on all the time, you can adjust the thermostat to even out the cost. By raising the thermostat 2 degrees in the summer and lowering it 2 degrees in the winter, the added cost of running it constantly should be offset. If it isn’t, you should have your device inspected to ensure both of the settings are properly calibrated.

Continue Reading

What to Look For When You Have Water Damage: A Tip From Willow Grove

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Water can be a beautiful thing. But it can be a very nasty thing, too. While water is an essential for life, it brings a high price tag when gone unchecked and allowed to seep, leak, and drain into your Willow Grove home. Damage caused by water can cause structural damage to a building and destruction of its contents. When left unchecked – over time – water damage can lead to mold growth and have a serious affect on building occupants’ health.

The destructive forces of water leave telltale signs throughout a building. Let’s look at some.

  • Wood damage – water can saturate wood, causing it to rot and decay. Check for discolored wood around plumbing fixtures, a sure sign of an ongoing or older leak that has since been repaired. Just because a leak has been fixed, the after-effects can linger. Soft or uneven surfaces around a plumbing fixture are a sure indication of water damage. Pull back carpeting, pads, tiling, or flooring to get to the root of the problem.
  • Drywall damage – porous material like drywall can leave many signs of water damage and, like wood, can be seriously degraded by water damage. Check for discoloration around plumbing fixtures and soft spots. Don’t assume that a dry surface that is stained is not a structural problem. You may have to cut out the drywall to reach the true source of the water damage.
  • Ceiling tile stains – a sure sign that water is coming in from a source above a roof or ceiling. Ceiling tiles are a porous material that are great for showing every little bit of moisture or water that comes in contact with them. The same is true with plaster or drywall ceilings. Stains indicate a more serious problem and should be investigated right away.
  • Damp, musty smells – water can leave some unpleasant odors, especially untreated water. Leaks or standing water are a source for higher humidity levels in a home. If you are standing in an area where water has soaked into floors or walls, there is often a damp, humid smell. Don’t mistake it for high humidity levels in the home. The smell can come from hidden sources like a leaking pipe joint or broken valve behind an access door.
  • Mold build-up – wood and drywall surfaces provide great food for mold growth when saturated with water. The mold can be of a harmless nature but often can become dangerous black mold. When black mold spores are airborne they can cause respiratory problems and even worse, medial problems down the road. Look for unusual clusters of mold in damp areas and if you find some, immediately call a professional plumber to suggest clean-up and to repair the source of the water leak.

There are many signs of water leakage in the home, caused by leaking or broken pipes, dripping faucets from worn-out washers, cracks in the walls and foundations allowing ground and rain water to seep in, etc. Find and fix the source immediately or pay even higher costs in repairs later on.

Continue Reading

Top 4 Upgrades For Your HVAC System: A Guide From Ambler

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Your HVAC system is a trusted part of your Ambler home’s comfort system. Without it you would be cold in the winter, hot in the summer, and breathing in contaminant laden air year round. So, it’s important that you install the best systems and subsystems available for your HVAC system. Here are some options to keep in mind when looking for ways to get the most from your heating and cooling.

  • Humidity Control – Don’t rely on your air conditioner to remove humidity in the summer. A dehumidifier is more energy efficient and reduces stress on your air conditioning system when the humidity gets high. In the winter, humidification allows your home to hold more heat, effectively increasing the efficiency of your heating system.
  • Air Filtration – Every air conditioning system and furnace comes with some form of air filtration, but is it enough? Standard filters are effective, but they are not always comprehensive. A good HEPA quality filter for your air handler and duct system will severely reduce the number of contaminants in your air supply and ensure that you and your family feel much better year round.
  • Ductwork Upgrades – If your ductwork is old, battered or starting to show its years, an upgrade may be in order. If nothing else, having your ductwork cleaned on a regular basis removes excess mold, dusty, pollen, debris and other pollutants that can affect your health and the quality of the air you breathe. Schedule annual cleanings of your ductwork and a biannual inspection to check for cracks and leaks.
  • Air Quality Controls – Beyond air filtration, you can upgrade your air handler’s ability to remove pollutants with a dedicated air cleaner and UV lights. These systems are installed in your air handler and/or ductwork to remove advanced pollutants like bacteria and mold and remove smaller particles including smoke, gas, and exhaust. Which system you need will depend on the level of contaminants in your home, so make sure you check with a contractor before choosing anything.

These upgrades are a great way to get more out of your HVAC system – in terms of both comfort and safety. Discuss your options with a contractor today to learn more.

Continue Reading