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

Benefits to Cooling Your Home with Geothermal

Monday, August 20th, 2012

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, geothermal heating and cooling systems are one of the most energy-efficient, eco-friendly and cost-effective systems on the market today.  Call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling with any questions you have about geothermal technology.

Cooling with Geothermal Has its Benefits

Cooling indoor air with geothermal energy has a number of benefits. Geothermal systems are highly energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, cost effective and have long service life expectancy. Because of the unique method of pulling cold temperatures from the ground or water through loop systems with a geothermal heat pump, geothermal systems are much more energy-efficient than even air-source heat pumps.

Geothermal energy is a renewable, sustainable energy source decreases your dependence on combustible energy sources.   Along with a significantly decreased reliance on combustible energy sources comes the added benefit of being highly cost-effective.

Since loop systems are placed underground and there are few moving parts to the heat pump, geothermal systems are known to last considerably longer than traditional air conditioning systems.

Geothermal energy can be pulled from the ground all year round through the geothermal heat pump, so during summer you can have cool air and during winter you can have warm air indoors.  This means year-round indoor comfort with one air conditioning and heating system, a great benefit.

As geothermal contractors in Langhorne, Carney understands everything about geothermal cooling systems and can help you determine whether it is the right cooling and heating system for your specific needs.  Contact Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today!

Continue Reading

HVAC Guide: Saving Energy This Summer

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Everyone wants to make their home more energy efficient, it not only saves you money but it also makes your home more environmentally friendly. Upgrading your Hatboro HVAC equipment is a great place to start, but it can be hard to decide what to do first.

Before you start making changes, ask yourself the following questions:

How much do you spend on energy?

Paying attention to your energy bill from month to month is very important. A sudden spike could indicate a problem with your Hatboro HVAC system or other appliances in your home. If you start trying to embrace an energy efficient lifestyle, your energy bill can help you keep track of how well you are doing.

Are there benefits to this upgrade?

In addition to being energy efficient, you should discover if there are any other ways that a change can benefit your home. For instance, a new air conditioner could make your home more comfortable, or zone control could make it easier to keep every room in your home the desired temperature. You’d be surprised how many energy efficient upgrades can really improve your whole home and not just your energy bill.

What is your budget?

Budgeting is never fun, but it’s important step to figuring out what you should change first. While it would be great to replace your air conditioner and furnace for ENERGY STAR rated models, it’s a big investment. You can try the little things first, like improving you insulation, repairing air ducts, and sealing air leaks. After you have saved up and improved other parts of your home you can work on replacing your HVAC equipment.

Improving the energy efficiency of your home will make it more comfortable and lower your utility bills. If you have any questions about energy efficient upgrades you can make to your home, call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today!

Continue Reading

How and Why to Recaulk Plumbing Fixtures

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

You probably don’t pay much attention to the caulking around your New Hope plumbing. It is one of those things that is always there, working kind of behind the scenes, that you never seem to notice until something goes wrong.

The think about caulking, though, is that something can go wrong with it rather quickly. Because of the high frequency of use of tubs and sinks, the caulk that seals the space between the fixture and the wall can deteriorate and crack over time. This can cause gaps in the caulk or cause the fixture to come loose from the wall.

When this cracking and erosion happens, water from your bath, shower head or faucet can seep in between the fixture and the wall, potentially causing water damage and fostering colonies of mildew and mold.

Cracked caulk is inevitable with daily use, so you don’t need to worry about preventing it. Instead, learn how to properly fix the situation with a fresh caulk job:

  1. Scrape away all the old caulk from around the fixture using a utility knife or putty knife. Take care to remove all the old caulk while also avoiding scratching porcelain fixtures.
  1. With all the caulk gone, clean out the joint thoroughly. This will remove any last traces of caulk, as well as any other dirt or buildup. If you notice mildew or mold, use a chlorine bleach solution to clean the joint before recaulking.
  1. Once the joint is dry, recaulk it using a bead of caulk that is just slightly wider than the joint. This ensures an adequate seal. Wipe any excess away with a rag.
  1. Allow the caulk to dry thoroughly before using the sink or tub. Read the instructions on the caulk for an estimated drying time.

Take note that it is very important to thoroughly remove all the old caulk and clean everywhere along the fixture joint before applying the new caulk. Otherwise, the new caulk will not adhere properly and potentially damaging dirt may get sealed into the joint.

If you followed all the steps carefully, you should have a fresh seal of caulk that will last you another several years! If you need any help with your plumbing fixtures, give Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling a call today!

Continue Reading

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

What Makes a Furnace High Efficiency?

Monday, December 19th, 2011

You’ve probably heard about the new lines of high efficiency furnaces being released by popular home heating companies, but what exactly is different about these high efficiency devices from your Chalfont home’s current furnace? Let’s take a closer look at what a high efficiency furnace offers and why it can save you money.

Added Features

A high efficiency furnace uses familiar technology in a new way to reduce the amount of energy lost when combustion takes place. This means:

  • Sealed Combustion – Instead of open combustion which allows heat to escape during and after the combustion process, a high efficiency furnace uses a sealed chamber with carefully measured and fed airflow to burn fuel and produce heat. Exhaust heat can then be recaptured and used to heat air transferred to your air vents.
  • Two Stage Gas Valves – With a two stage gas valve, your furnace can respond to the temperature outside. There isn’t just one “on” switch. The furnace will regulate gas flow based on how much energy is needed to produce heat for your home. So, if there is a sudden burst of cold outside, the furnace will respond accordingly, but for most days when heating needs are low, it will use only the minimum amount of needed gas.
  • Programmable – High efficiency furnaces are now programmable, meaning you can set specific time limits for operation, change thermostat settings digitally and inspect the device through an electronic read out. The level of control given to you by a programmable high efficiency furnace can greatly reduce gas or electricity consumption.

Cost Benefit

The real reason many people are interested in high efficiency furnaces is that they are so much less expensive to operate. Instead of costing hundreds of dollars to run through the winter, they operate the bare minimum needed to heat your home. Using up to 95% of the fuel they consume to produce heat and regulating gas to cut how much is consumed during milder days, these furnaces are built to save you money.

If you have an old furnace that chews through energy like nobody’s business, now might be the time to consider the benefits of a brand new, high efficiency model.

Continue Reading

Safety and Your Furnace

Friday, October 14th, 2011

There are many advantages to a safely operating furnace in your Telford home. The most important are the safety and comfort of a home’s occupants and the cost of running the furnace.  There are several things you can do to ensure the safe operation of your furnace. There are some things you can do to ensure that your furnace runs safely.

Here is a checklist of ideas:

  • Clean or change furnace filters on a regular basis. Replace disposable filters and clean permanent filters using water or cleaning solutions. Your owner’s manual or a qualified heating contractor can suggest a regular maintenance schedule.
  • Check the exhaust vent from the furnace. Clear obstructions such as leaves, clothing, or animal nests from the vent pipe or chimney. Keep roof exhaust vents clear of snow. If there is a faulty exhaust system (like a blocked flue), of if there are cracks and leaks in the pipes or improper adjustment of the burner, or if there is lower air pressure indoors than outside, the furnace can create serious indoor air pollution.
  • A clear air intake is important too, since furnaces need fresh air to “breath” and complete the fuel burning cycle. Again, check for debris, snow, or animal nests in intake pipes.
  • If you have an older gas furnace, you may want to install a supplementary induced-draft fan that reduces the possibility of backdrafting. Some furnaces have automatic shutoff devices that turn off the furnace if it begins to backdraft.
  • Check internal components such as the blower motor and vacuum any dirt. Check belts and pulleys for excessive wear. You should consult your owner’s manual for any suggested maintenance tips on internal working components.
  • You may also want to check the pilot light to see if it is working and if it producing an even, blue flame. If the flame is uneven, it may be a sign of incomplete gas combustion, which can result in the creation of dangerous carbon monoxide gas.
  • Ensure that your thermostat is operating correctly by raising or lowering the temperature settings to make sure the furnace cycles on and off.
  • Install and maintain battery or hard-wired smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Externally vented natural gas furnaces, when properly designed and installed, will operate safely for years. But if you detect a problem, use the most common solution – contact a qualified heating professional to check out your furnace.

Continue Reading

Alternatives to Air Conditioning in Your Home

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Let’s face it – we rely pretty heavily on air conditioning to keep us comfortable during the warmest months of the summer in Hatboro. So, what do you do when the mercury dings 90+ and your air conditioner is either broken or you are in a place without AC? Luckily, there are alternatives. Here are some of the better options:

  • Move Air through the House – As simple as it sounds, air circulation can have a huge impact on the temperature inside, especially in the late afternoon. Mid-afternoon sun will hit your roof no matter how many trees you have planted. The result is a decent amount of heat pouring into your home. But, if you open the windows and let a cross breeze through, amplifying it with fans, especially ceiling fans, moving air will carry that heat out of the house later in the day when the temperature drops.
  • Block Direct Sunlight – Unless it’s 90+ degrees outside, most of the discomfort in heat comes from direct sunlight. Block that direct sunlight and you severely reduce how warm it might get in your home. Trees planted along western, eastern and southern walls do this very effectively, especially if they are deciduous and will allow in the warming sun in the winter.
  • The Power of Water – Feel warm? Get some cool water and place it on your forehead, arms or legs. A bowl of cool water in front of a fan can be soothing as well, assuming humidity isn’t a problem. If it is, consider getting a dehumidifier to run in lieu of an air conditioner for those days that aren’t too hot. They are less expensive and can reduce discomfort significantly.
  • Evaporative Coolers – Evaporative coolers are extremely popular in Europe and Japan where energy costs are relatively high. They use up to 80% less electricity than air conditioners, don’t require refrigerants linked to global warming, and they work extremely well in dry heat. There are evaporative coolers available that can cool your entire home, though the most common devices are those designed for a single room. They are sometimes called “swamp coolers” as well.

I’m sure we’d all rather have a comfortably air conditioned room to lounge in during the hottest months of summer, but in lieu of electric powered comfort, keep in mind the simple, effective ways people have been staying cool for centuries.

Continue Reading

Why You Cannot Neglect AC Maintenance: A Tip From Hatboro

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Especially if you have just purchased a new air conditioning system (as I did in my home in Hatboro) maintenance is probably the last thing you are thinking about. In fact, if you are like most people, you do not think about your air conditioning system at all until it does not work when you need it. But if you simply continue to use your air conditioning system without maintaining it, you will be setting yourself up for a lot of problems later on.

Just like your car or any other machine that you run on a regular basis, your air conditioning system requires a regular tune up to keep it running like it is supposed to. The type of air conditioning system you have will dictate exactly how often this maintenance service needs to take place, but most systems benefit greatly from having a tune up once a year.

When you have just purchased an air conditioning system, the last thing you probably want to do is shell out a bunch of extra cash when the system is still running fine. But it really is much cheaper to pay now rather than waiting until you have a problem with your air conditioner to call for service.

During a regular maintenance visit, your technician will examine all of the component parts of your air conditioning system to make sure that they are working the way they should and not showing any signs of excess wear and tear. This is a great way to detect problems early, even when they have not yet begun to show in the air conditioner’s performance.

Your air conditioning technician will also thoroughly clean out your system to ensure that no excess debris is allowed to build up around the coil or other vital parts of the air conditioner. This is important because it helps the air conditioner to continue to function at peak energy efficiency levels. Without regular maintenance, your air conditioner will gradually lose efficiency over time. It will only lose a little bit every year, but if you do not do something to stop it, those little bits will quickly add up.

Regular maintenance also helps to prevent more costly and inconvenient repair visits later on. And it will certainly help to increase the lifespan of your air conditioner as well. Whether you have just purchased an air conditioning system or have had yours for several years, it is never too late to start your annual maintenance visits.

Continue Reading

New Thermostats – Are they Worth the Investment?

Friday, February 4th, 2011

When you are trying to save money around the house, a new thermostat is definitely worth looking into. Sure, your old thermostat works fine. But there are a lot of features available on newer models that can help you save money on your heating and cooling costs throughout the year.

And you do not need to wait until it is time to replace your home comfort system to upgrade your thermostat. Most thermostats can work with many different types of heating and cooling systems. So no matter what type of HVAC system you have or how old it is, you should be able to integrate some type of new thermostat into it.

But how can a new thermostat save you money? Well, they simply offer a lot of features that you can use to your advantage. For instance, even the most basic programmable thermostat can let you set different temperatures for different times of day. You can program the thermostat to turn the heat down during the day when no one is home and then you can have the heat switch back on just before you get home.

That way, you can come home to a nice, warm house without having to pay to heat it all day long when it is empty. Many newer thermostats also are more accurate and can provide more pinpoint control of your heating and cooling system. That means that you will not be wasting money because your heating system gets the actual temperature in your house up to 75°F when you only really need it to hit 72°F.

Newer thermostats help you to save money in a variety of ways, and that savings will more than pay for the cost of having a new thermostat installed. That is because thermostats are actually quite cheap and easy to install. A relatively basic programmable thermostat should not run you more than $100, and even if you opt for one of the more advanced systems out there, you will not pay more than a few hundred dollars.

That is a small price to pay considering the increased comfort possible with a state of the art thermostat and the potential for savings every month on your heating or cooling bills. Plus, you likely paid a considerable amount to have that state of the art HVAC system put in. It is worth paying just a bit more so that you can get the most possible out of it.

Continue Reading