Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Heat Pumps’

Heat Pump Settings and Your Comfort Level

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.

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Effects of Excessive Snow on Heat Pumps

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Due to recent excessive snowfall, we wanted to pass along a few tips for our customers who own heat pump systems.

Heat Pumps and Snow

Excessive snow can reduce a heat pump’s ability to heat your home.

1. Heat pumps draw air from the areas surrounding them (all four sides of the outdoor unit). It is important to clear these areas of snow and ice build up in order to allow air to freely reach the heat pump. This will allow the heat pump to operate as efficiently as possible and will alleviate strain on the heat pump.

2. If possible, the space (air gap) between the heat pump and the plastic or concrete pad that the unit itself sits on should be cleared of snow to allow for drainage. Customers who have had heat pumps installed by Carney will note that there are two concrete lentels (rectangular blocks of concrete) that sit on either side of the base of the heat pump. The area between those lentils is the area that should be cleared.

3. Generally speaking, most heat pumps discharge air in an upward direction from the top of the unit. It is important to make sure that this area is clear of snow and ice to allow air to easily discharge (this is the air that is being drawn from the sides of the unit noted in item #1).

A note to Carney customers for whom we have installed a Trane XLi heat pump system: Trane’s XLi series heat pumps employ a “Weathergaurd” top that is designed to protect the heat pump from the affects of snow and ice on the top of the unit. In most cases snow and ice on the top of the unit will have no impact on an XLi heat pump. Air is discharged from the sides of the upper part of the heat pump instead. This area can be distinguished from the intake area as it is a) darker in color, b) plastic as opposed to steel, c) has a wider air gap between the fins and d) the direction of the louvers points upwards at an approximate 45 degree angle as opposed to downwards at the steel louvers. We have installed several hundred of Trane’s XLi series heat pump each year since 2003, so there is a good chance that you may own one – which is very beneficial at this time!

4. DO NOT attempt to forcefully remove ice build up from any part of the heat pump. If you cannot remove snow or ice easily with a broom or brush, do not try to pry or chisel ice from the unit. Doing so could cause severe or irrepairable damage to the heat pump.

5. If your heat pump is located in an area that is subject to exposure to melting snow and ice (such as underneath an overhang or gutter that may be frozen), check the unit repeatedly to ensure that ice has not built up inside the heat pump.

6. If you cannot clear the heat pump of snow and ice for any reason, switch the system to “Emergency Heat” at the thermostat. This will turn the heat pump off and engage electric resistance heaters that are located inside in order to provide heat for your home. This is a more expensive mode of operation for a heat pump system, so we do not advise continuing in this mode for more than a few days. If at that time, the snow and ice around the heat pump has not melted, feel free to schedule a service call with Carney and a technician from our service team will be happy to assist you.

Finally, if you are a geothermal heat pump owner – you have nothing to worry about! There is no outdoor unit, so there is no concern of snow or ice!

Further heating information can be found on our Heating FAQ’s Page.
As always, feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns at 215.346.7160 .

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When Should You Replace Your Existing Heat Pump?

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Nobody wants to think about having to replace a home heating and cooling system. It’s a big job and a new system probably won’t come cheap – not if it’s worth buying anyway. But in the end, you’ll be better off replacing your heat pump sooner rather than later if you start noticing signs that it may be on its way out.

So what are these signs? Well, they’re actually pretty easy to recognize if you know what to look for. For instance, if your heat pump is suddenly making more noise than it used to, there’s a good chance that something’s going wrong inside. This may only require a minor repair, but if minor repairs like this become a regular occurrence, you should start seriously thinking about looking around for a new system.

The cost of even minor repairs will certainly add up quickly over time, and you’ll have to seriously think about whether it makes financial sense to continue to repair an older system rather than simply replacing it with a new one. Chances are that you’ll have to invest in a new one anyway, and the sooner you do it, the less you’ll have paid for repairs to a system you were just going to get rid of anyway.

Also, if you’re starting to notice humidity problems in your home or if some parts of your house are being kept warmer than others, it may very well be a sign that you heat pump isn’t working like it should. Again, this can sometimes be rectified with repair work, but especially if your heat pump is 10 years old or more, it probably makes more sense to replace it.

Another item to keep an eye on when you’re worried about how well your heat pump is working is your monthly energy bill. If you notice a sudden or even a gradual but steady increase over time that you know isn’t a result of an increase in energy prices in your area, you should suspect that your heat pump isn’t working like it should.

Even if it’s still keeping your home at a comfortable temperature, the fact that your heat pump is using more energy to do it is a sign that there’s something wrong with your system. Plus, newer systems are generally more energy efficient anyway, so you’ll be making up for the initial investment of purchasing a new system when you start paying even less on your monthly energy bills.

Nobody wants to think about having to replace a home heating and cooling system. It’s a big job and a new system probably won’t come cheap – not if it’s worth buying anyway. But in the end, you’ll be better off replacing your heat pump sooner rather than later if you start noticing signs that it may be on its way out.

So what are these signs? Well, they’re actually pretty easy to recognize if you know what to look for. For instance, if your heat pump is suddenly making more noise than it used to, there’s a good chance that something’s going wrong inside. This may only require a minor repair, but if minor repairs like this become a regular occurrence, you should start seriously thinking about looking around for a new system.

The cost of even minor repairs will certainly add up quickly over time, and you’ll have to seriously think about whether it makes financial sense to continue to repair an older system rather than simply replacing it with a new one. Chances are that you’ll have to invest in a new one anyway, and the sooner you do it, the less you’ll have paid for repairs to a system you were just going to get rid of anyway.

Also, if you’re starting to notice humidity problems in your home or if some parts of your house are being kept warmer than others, it may very well be a sign that you heat pump isn’t working like it should. Again, this can sometimes be rectified with repair work, but especially if your heat pump is 10 years old or more, it probably makes more sense to replace it.

Another item to keep an eye on when you’re worried about how we

Nobody wants to think about having to replace a home heating and cooling system. It’s a big job and a new system probably won’t come cheap – not if it’s worth buying anyway. But in the end, you’ll be better off replacing your heat pump sooner rather than later if you start noticing signs that it may be on its way out.

So what are these signs? Well, they’re actually pretty easy to recognize if you know what to look for. For instance, if your heat pump is suddenly making more noise than it used to, there’s a good chance that something’s going wrong inside. This may only require a minor repair, but if minor repairs like this become a regular occurrence, you should start seriously thinking about looking around for a new system.

The cost of even minor repairs will certainly add up quickly over time, and you’ll have to seriously think about whether it makes financial sense to continue to repair an older system rather than simply replacing it with a new one. Chances are that you’ll have to invest in a new one anyway, and the sooner you do it, the less you’ll have paid for repairs to a system you were just going to get rid of anyway.

Also, if you’re starting to notice humidity problems in your home or if some parts of your house are being kept warmer than others, it may very well be a sign that you heat pump isn’t working like it should. Again, this can sometimes be rectified with repair work, but especially if your heat pump is 10 years old or more, it probably makes more sense to replace it.

Another item to keep an eye on when you’re worried about how well your heat pump is working is your monthly energy bill. If you notice a sudden or even a gradual but steady increase over time that you know isn’t a result of an increase in energy prices in your area, you should suspect that your heat pump isn’t working like it should.

Even if it’s still keeping your home at a comfortable temperature, the fact that your heat pump is using more energy to do it is a sign that there’s something wrong with your system. Plus, newer systems are generally more energy efficient anyway, so you’ll be making up for the initial investment of purchasing a new system when you start paying even less on your monthly energy bills.

ll your heat pump is working is your monthly energy bill. If you notice a sudden or even a gradual but steady increase over time that you know isn’t a result of an increase in energy prices in your area, you should suspect that your heat pump isn’t working like it should.

Even if it’s still keeping your home at a comfortable temperature, the fact that your heat pump is using more energy to do it is a sign that there’s something wrong with your system. Plus, newer systems are generally more energy efficient anyway, so you’ll be making up for the initial investment of purchasing a new system when you start paying even less on your monthly energy bills.

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How Efficient Is a Heat Pump?

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Heat pumps are actually remarkably efficient when compared to some of the home heating alternatives out there. Especially if you’re already using electricity to heat your home, you can get generate huge savings on your monthly energy bills by switching to a heat pump system.

As their name suggests, heat pumps remove heat from the air and transfer that heat from one area to another. That means that in the winter, your heat pump will remove the heat from the air outside your home and pump that heat in to heat your home. During the summer months, that process is actually reversed, and heat pumps are able to cool your home by collecting the heat from your indoor air and pumping it outside.

Since heat pumps are actually just moving heat from one place to another rather than generating it all on their own, they don’t require much energy at all to operate. While you can buy furnaces that are as much as 97% energy efficient, they’re still using more energy than a heat pump would. The fact that the furnace is turning the vast majority of the energy that it uses into heat doesn’t mean that it still doesn’t require more energy to operate.

Just because heat pumps are more efficient than many other types of heating systems, you can’t just assume that all heat pumps are equally energy efficient. Just as different types and models of furnaces have different energy efficiency ratings, so too do the many types, sizes and models of heat pumps. Make sure you thoroughly compare your options before you settle on the right system for your home.

The energy efficiency rating of a furnace is easy to recognize, as each of them comes with a standard AFUE rating. If you’re looking to switch to heat pumps, however, it’s easy to get confused when you’re trying to compare the energy efficiency of various models.

Heat pumps actually have two separate measurements for energy efficiency. These are the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) and the heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF). Energy efficiency measurements for heat pumps reflect both the cooling and heating efficiency of the system, and so what’s best for you may vary depending on what you’re more likely to use your heat pump for.

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Heating system rebates up to $3,500 – now through December 31st!

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Have you taken advantage of the Federal Tax Credit yet?  What are you waiting for?  This is the FINAL MONTH to save thousands of dollars when you replace your old, less efficient home heating system with a new, energy saving, high efficiency heater!  If you replace your natural gas, propane gas or oil heating system with a qualifying system by December 31st the Federal Government is providing a tax credit up to $1,500!*

The year-end incentives don’t stop there!  In addition to the tax credit, manufacturer rebates of up to $1,000 on new heating systems and air conditioning systems are available now through December 31st.  Combine these two incentives and you’re saving up to $2,500 by simply having Carney Plumbing, Heating and Cooling replace your old, less efficient heater and air conditioner with a new, energy saving system.

In addition to the money you’re saving through the rebate offers, modern high efficiency heating and air conditioning systems save hundreds of dollars each year in energy usage and come with FULL 10 YEAR PARTS & LABOR WARRANTIES.
Call us today at 215.346.7160 to schedule your FREE, in-home consultation!  Don’t forget- these rebates are only available until December 31st.

The rebates don’t stop there!  We would like to offer you even more savings!  Carney Plumbing, Heating and Cooling now has a coupon allowing for an instant $400 off of your purchase of a new heater and air conditioner!  Click here for the coupon!

Finally, utility providers such as PECO and PP&L are offering rebates up to $700 for high efficiency furnaces, heat pumps and air conditioners.

Families across Pennsylvania are taking advantage of the Rebate Programs.

As you can see, the savings really add up if you act now, but this opportunity will not last!  Don’t wait until after December 31st to have your new heating system installed, because missing this deadline will cost you savings of up to $3,500!!!  Call Carney today to schedule your FREE in-home consultation and take advantage of these unprecedented incentives before the year is over and these offers expire!

*Consult your tax preparer for personal eligibility concerning tax credit.

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Carney PHC Featured in Intelligencer

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling was recently profiled in The Intelligencer as part of their “Going Green” series that appears each Monday in the print version of the paper as well as on line.

Kevin Carney with a geothermal heat pump days before it was installed in Bucks County.

Kevin Carney with a geothermal heat pump days before it was installed in Bucks County.

The article highlights several of the Federal, State and Utility rebate and credit programs that financially aid homeowners who choose to install “green” energy saving appliances.  In this case Carney was contacted to provide insight on how these rebates have effected the decisions that homeowners are making when replacing heating and air conditioning systems.

A photo of the owner of Carney PHC, Kevin J. Carney, was taken standing next to a geothermal heat pump that was installed in a Bucks County home days after the photo was taken.  This homeowner will enjoy a reduction in their income taxes that will equal 30% of the cost to replace an aging oil heating system with an ultra-efficient geothermal heat pump system that will reduce heating, cooling and hot water costs up to 70%!

Call Lisa at 215.346.7160 to schedule a free consultation regarding geothermal heat pump systems.

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Heat Pump Replacement, Perkasie Bucks County

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling recently completed another heat pump replacement in Bucks County, PA!

A new heat pump system in Perkasie, Bucks County PA.

A new heat pump system in Perkasie, Bucks County PA.

The existing heat pump system in Perkasie had surpassed its useful lifespan.  Although it still functioned – it was costing the homeowners more to operate than it should have.
A Carney installation team installed a new high efficiency heat pump system that qualified for the Federal Tax Credit.  Because the new heat pump is so energy efficient, it also provided PP&L rebates for new heat pump systems.  These homeowners received nearly $3,000 in rebates and credits after installation and will see a reduction in heating and cooling expenses of at least 25%!
Call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today at 215.346.7160 to see how you can benefit from the current rebates and tax credits that are still available for a limited time.

The comments below are feedback that this particular homeowner provided following this heat pump replacement.  As always, customer commentary is shared on our testimonials page.

Heat Pump Replacement, Perkasie PA

New system seems to be working fine and with yesterday’s 90s, nice. Am sure I’ll be playing with around with the options, adjusting functions etc. for awhile. Thanks for the info and sales help.

Also wanted to comment on Tuesday’s install. Chris and Matt did an outstanding job. What I’ve seen from the work Carney’s did at my in-laws former home and Tuesday’s install were field technicians who are meticulous, thorough, and have great attitudes. Too often you get service for whatever, you’re dealing with techs who seem to be just going through the motions, doing the jobs because the boss told them to. Nothing exceptional. The Carney staff treat you like its their own business at stake, want you totally satisfied and, to come back for more. I will definitely recommend Carney to others.  Thanks, John.

– John B, Perkasie, PA

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