Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Harleysville’

Is It Time for Air Conditioning Renewal This Spring?

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Spring is the time of renewal, and if you ended last cooling season in Harleysville, PA, with an air conditioner on its last legs, now is the perfect time to see what kind of AC replacement system will best fit your home. Many people look at air conditioning replacement with little enthusiasm, but the truth is that replacement offers you and your home a great opportunity to improve energy efficiency and comfort, and you may find that your replacement system fits your needs better than your current one. There are a number of options available to homeowners for air conditioning replacement, and sizing is always a critical aspect of good installation. The trained experts at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling can help you determine which type of replacement AC will be best for your home and then install it correctly the first time around. If your air conditioning system needs renewal this spring, call your Carney expert!

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What Does a Sump Pump Do?

Monday, July 21st, 2014

For people who live in sections of the country that experience mostly dry weather and land with low-water tables, sump pumps are devices that they never need to learn about. However, here in Pennsylvania, sump pumps are often indispensable aids for protecting homes from flooding, excess moisture in the basment, and water damage. If your home has experienced any of these problems before, for whatever reason, you should call a professional plumbing service and arrange for installation of a sump pump.

Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling has installed sump pumps for many years, and if you think you will benefit from a sump pump in Harleysville, PA, make us your first call. We offer both standard sump pumps and battery backup sump pumps.

The operation of a sump pump

What a sump pump does is remove excess water from a lower area of your house, usually the basement. The device is a water pump that uses an electrically-powered impelled motor to draw water from an excavated collection pit—the “sump” of the name—and then places it either into the wastewater system of the house’s plumbing or into a well. Sump pumps can handle flooding, but they are also useful if you live in an area with a high water table that causes moisture to seep down into the basement.

Sump pumps come in two basic models: pedestal and submersible. A pedestal pump sits above the sump and draws up water through pipes. A submersible pump is a watertight device that sits down within the sump itself and pulls water through intakes and then pumps it up out of the sump. Pedestal pumps are easier to service and less prone to repairs, while submersible pumps are more efficient and effective.

Because sump pumps run on electricity, they will shut off in the event of a power outage—which is a common occurrence during major storms that can send flooding down into a basement. To overcome this flaw, you can choose to have a battery backup sump pump installed, which will activate the battery should they lose power from the house. The standard battery backup sump pump can cycle 8,000 gallons of water before its batteries need recharging.

Sump pumps must have professional installation. The technicians who hook up sump pumps will determine the right type and size of pump to handle a home’s needs, and then excavate a sump that will gather the maximum amount of water to make the pump effective. The installers can also recommend whether a battery backup sump pump is something you should consider.

We can also take care if any repairs or maintenance your pump needs with our same day service.

For installation of a sump pump in Harleysville, PA, rely on the more than 30 years of experience at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling.

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Why You Need Professional Drain Cleaning Services

Monday, April 1st, 2013

When you need to schedule professional drain cleaning in Chalfont, just call the pros at Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. That is the easy part. The difficult part for many homeowners is understanding why professional drain cleaning is necessary. Well, we have some information that should help you better understand why professional drain cleaning is so important. We know that the drains in your home serve a vital purpose. That is why we take such pride in the quality of the plumbing services we offer. Consider this information and call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling with any questions you may still have.

There are few problems that you may experience with the plumbing in your home that are more annoying than slow moving or clogged drains. What a lot of people fail to realize is that, in addition to being annoying, clogged drains can actually lead to much more serious problems in your home. Clogged drains can throw off the pressure in your plumbing system, which in turn can lead to numerous other problems.

While many homeowners think of clogged drains as a minor problem, they really do justify scheduling professional service to resolve. Over the counter chemical cleaners, for instance, may remove enough of a clog to allow water to flow through the drain. However, it is very unlikely that the clog will be completely cleared with such cleaners. Leaving parts of a clog behind means that in just a short time the clog will likely become large enough to cause issues again. Snaking drains is generally more effective, but without the skill and knowledge of a professional plumber it is easy to simply force the snake through a clog, leaving much of it attached to the surfaces of your drain pipe.

Call the Chalfont drain cleaning professionals at Carney Plumbing, Heating and Cooling to ensure that your drain cleaning service is a complete success. We use the latest tools and equipment, such as video camera pipe inspection, to make sure that the job is done right. Contact us today for more information or to schedule service.

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What Are Energy Recovery Ventilators?

Monday, December 17th, 2012

When the heating and cooling months are upon us, many homeowners find themselves in a conundrum. They want to seal up their home to keep the heated and cooled air inside, but this lack of ventilation can cause serious issues with the indoor air quality in their homes. Thankfully, technology has provided a way for homeowners to make the most efficient use of the energy while also enjoying the fresh, pure air that is only possible with proper ventilation. If you live in the Harleysville area and are interested in learning more about how you too can get the best of both worlds, call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today. We have all the information and services you need to take advantage of an energy recovery ventilator in your home.

Energy recovery ventilators are installed directly into your heating and air conditioning systems. The innovative devices make it possible for you to adequately ventilate your home without losing the energy efficiency you get with a well-sealed home envelope. A heat exchanger within the ventilator makes it possible to transfer energy from the air being vented out into the air coming in, and vice versa depending on the weather. When it is hot outside the heat is vented out and cool air is kept inside, while in the winter the heat is retained even when air is being ventilated outside.

Energy recovery ventilators are a great way to improve comfort and air quality in your home. They are also an inventive way to cut down on energy costs. By using the energy you pay for more completely less of that energy will have to be used, and less will have to be replaced due to energy loss. For more information about energy recovery ventilators or to schedule an installation in Harleysville, contact Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today. We have everything you need to start living more comfortably and efficiently.

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Plumbing Tip: What is a Faucet Aerator?

Monday, May 21st, 2012

A tap aerator or faucet aerator is located on the tip of water faucets which are used indoors such as kitchen and bathroom sink faucets.  Their purpose is to spread the water stream into a number of smaller streams, in essence adding air to the water stream.  This saves the amount of water which comes out of the tap at one time while also reducing the amount of backsplash which occurs when the faucet is turned on.

Utilizing faucet aerators in your Doylestown plumbing can be one of the most inexpensive ways to save money on water consumption and save energy.

There are two main types of faucet aerators, some which use metal or plastic screens to separate the water, and some which do not use screens. One advantage to those without screens is that they eliminate problematic clogging which occurs on screen aerators due to sediment buildup.  There are also aerators with off-valves and swivel aerators which allow users to direct flow to wherever the water spray is needed.

There are three main flow-types seen today. The needle method creates a circular pattern of small, single streams of water with no water-flow in the very center.  The aerated method created a tubular flow with air mixed into the water, creating a single stream of bubbly water.  The laminar method has no air mixed in which makes for a single stream of water with no bubbles.

Many aerators are designed as more economical low-flow aerators which optimize the water flow while still providing optimal water-flow performance.  In kitchens these low-flow options decrease flow from 2.2 gallons per minute to 1.5 gpm or 1.0 gpm, saving anywhere from 32% to 54% of water-usage.  On bathroom faucets the water-flow is decreased from 2.2 gpm to 1.0 gpm or even 0.5 gpm saving from 77% to 84% of water usage.  When engineered properly, low-flow or economic aerators can provide increased perceived water pressure while in actuality helping to save water.

When purchasing new faucet aerators, ensure that you find the proper type (male or female) and the proper size (regular or small).  There are dual-thread options for those who do not know whether a male or female aerator is necessary.  Also, look at the tap aerator’s price in conjunction with how much savings it can provide in water usage annually and see how little must be spent on each faucet in order to save hundreds of dollars.

For any help upgrading your Doylestown home’s plumbing, give Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling a call!

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Heating Contractor Guide: Which Fuel is Right for Your Home?

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Souderton homeowners all want to save money on household expenses and utility bills. We turn off lights when we leave the room, take shorter showers and make sure the kids don’t keep the refrigerator door open. These small habits help, but still we all want to save a little wherever we can, right?

One area where people are constantly looking for ways to save money is home heating. Everyone wants to be comfortable and warm in their homes, but that costs money, so homeowners are always on the lookout for the most effective and cost efficient way to keep the house warm.

What is the most cost effective fuel for home heating?

Is it natural gas, electric, fuel oil or propane? How about less conventional heat sources like wood or geothermal pumps?

We all wish there was one easy, all-encompassing answer to this question, like a heating magic bullet that would keep every family warm and happy for pennies on the dollar. Unfortunately, there isn’t. It depends on too many factors for any one solution to work for everyone.

Probably the biggest factor that plays a role in the cost of a particular fuel is its local availability. Resources are available differentially, so that while one option might be cheapest for a family of five in Andover, Massachusetts, the analysis is entirely different for a single person in Kearney, Nebraska.

What is the most cost effective option for you?

That is a better question, but still not one that is necessarily easy to answer.

To figure it out, you need to carefully analyze several factors:

  • Local availability (see above)
  • Local climate
  • Size of your home
  • Your family’s needs
  • Existing heating equipment
  • Your budget

Armed with this information, you can do a careful comparison of the options available to you. For assistance you can use an online calculator to compare fuel costs, such as this one from the Energy Information Administration or this one from Hearth.com. Or if you have any questions, give Carney PHC a call today!

Comparing fuel costs and choosing the right solution for you may take some time, but the savings can be well worth it.

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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.

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What Is a Gravity Furnace?

Monday, January 9th, 2012

A long time ago, gravity furnaces were a very popular means of heating a home. Instead of pressurizing and blowing air through vents to each room of your Buckingham home, a gravity furnace used gravity to move warm air between rooms.

The operation of these furnaces is pretty simple. When turned on, the furnace, which is located in your basement, burns fuel like gas or oil and produces heat. That heat is vented through ductwork to the top level of your home using the natural properties of gravity (hot air rises). The hot air exits vents as it travels up in the home and releases heat into the room.

Why to Replace a Gravity Furnace

While gravity furnaces can work nearly forever and have very few mechanical problems, they are incredibly expensive to operate and take up a lot of space. Due to the sheer volume of ducts needed to distribute air throughout your home and the cost of heating enough air to ensure it rises properly, you’re dealing with a heating efficiency of 50% or lower.

In fact, about half the energy you consume to heat air in a gravity furnace gets pumped straight out through the chimney. It’s a complete waste of money and a replacement will start saving you money almost immediately.

Newer furnaces have efficiency ratings of up to 95% which makes them nearly twice as efficient as gravity furnaces. Additionally, they take up less space and with modern components, you can install newer devices like zone controls, electronic readout and display and more. It’s a fantastic way to enjoy steady, reliable heat in your home without having to invest a fortune in the fuel needed to operate it.

Comfort Matters

Another thing to consider is the comfort level of your home. Because gravity furnaces release warm air through the middle of the house and cold air comes back down along the walls, homes that have them are rarely comfortable except in the middle of the house. Forced air furnaces with blower fans are much more efficient at distributing heated air and matching the thermostat settings you select.

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A Guide from a Quakertown Heating Contractor: The History of Geothermal Energy

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Geothermal energy is nothing new – it just gets more ink because of its increasing use to naturally heat and cool buildings in Quakertown and around the county, leaving a smaller carbon footprint and providing for an efficient, more cost-saving method to achieve indoor comfort.

History shows that geothermal energy dates back over 10,000 years when American-Paleo Indians used hot springs for bathing and heating, possibly even as a source for healing. And geothermal energy is not just a North American “thing” either. The oldest known hot springs spa was built in the Qin dynasty in China in the 3rd century B.C.

Romans used the water from hot springs for their public baths. Geothermal water was also used by the Romans for treating skin and eye diseases. Minerals found in hot springs water has been long believed to have healing qualities. Geothermal water was also used to heat the buildings in Pompeii. Subsequently, building heat was obtained from under floor systems.

History notes that France is home to the world’s oldest known geothermal district heating system. The system in Chaudes-Aigues has been in use since about the 14th century. And starting in 1960, France began using geothermal heating for homes in other areas. Up to 200,000 homes in France are heated by geothermal means.

History also shows geothermal energy use during the late 18th century near Pisa, Italy. Geothermal energy had been used to extract boric acid from the Larderello Fields through the use of steam. In 1904 at Lardello Fields, steam was successfully used to generate power for the first time. At the time, geothermal energy was seen as the power of the future.

In the U.S. in 1892, the first district heating system in Boise, Idaho was powered directly by geothermal energy, and was soon copied in Klamath Falls, Oregon in 1900, where geothermal water was pumped under sidewalks and roads to help prevent freezing and ice build up. In New Mexico rows of pipe were placed underground to keep soil warmer for agricultural purposes.

A deep geothermal well was used to heat greenhouses in Boise in 1926.

For the residential market, an inventor built a “downhole heat exchanger” in 1930 to heat his house. The heat pump, which was invented in 1852, was patented to draw heat from the ground in 1912. However, it was not until the 1940s that the geothermal heat pump was successfully launched. Records show that the first commercial heat pump was put into use in Portland, Oregon in 1946. The first residential open loop system was installed in 1948.

In the 1960’s, the first large scale industrial geothermal energy power plant was constructed, producing 11 megawatts of geothermal electricity. From the 1960’s to the present day organizations and governing bodies have been set up to manage, research, and develop new and improved geothermal energy sites and technologies.

Today, there are many geothermal power plants in working order in the U.S. and across the globe.

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How a Furnace Works: A Guide from Harleysville

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Do you know how your furnace works? Believe it or not, lots of Harleysville homeowners probably can’t explain the operation of furnace. It probably isn’t at the top of your “to do” list. It’s only important to know that once you set your thermostat to a desired temperature, the furnace comes on and warms the house.

The most common furnace is fueled by natural gas but there are other examples of heating equipment such as boilers, electric baseboard, or geothermal. But let’s look at how a gas furnace works since natural gas is found in most U.S. households. Gas furnaces use natural gas or propane to provide energy used for generating heat.

When the temperature in your home falls below the level set on the thermostat, an electric pilot light automatically ignites to heat a burner inside the furnace. This burner uses gas to generate heat within a combustion chamber inside the furnace. After the furnace senses that the thermostat has triggered the flame and that it is properly lit, the actual spark (or ignitor) is turned off.

Simultaneously, a motor in the furnace pulls in air from an exchange or return, which could be a grill in the floor, ceiling, or wall of a house. That air flows through ducts into the plenum of the furnace. The plenum is on the opposite side of the heat exchanger from the burner.

Gas will typically burn for at least two minutes before the blower starts to disperse heat throughout your home. This extra time gives the air an adequate period of time to warm up and also so that cold air won’t be pushed through the vents into the rooms in your house at the start. After either the preset time (roughly two minutes) or pre-established temperature is reached, the blower’s motor is turned on and it blows air over the heat exchanger, which usually consists of a series of copper tubes or pipes. When a fan blows air onto the heat exchanger, the air is heated. This heated air is then blown through a series of ducts to heat your home via vents in the floor, walls or ceiling. Exhaust fumes from the combustion process exit the furnace through a gas flue or chimney.

Just as the heat in your home turns on when a certain temperature is reached, it also turns off after the rooms are warm enough, thanks to your thermostat. The thermostat again senses the temperature in the room. When the room warms up to the temperature set by you at the thermostat, the gas valve is switched off, stopping the flow of gas. After the gas is turned off, the blower motor will still run for a few minutes, allowing the heat exchanger to cool off a bit. In some furnaces, the blower motor never shuts off, but operates at low speed to keep air circulating throughout your home.

In a nutshell, your thermostat is the brain in your heating system and your furnace is the brawn, doing most of the work.

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