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

Will a Heat Pump Provide Sufficient Warmth for the Winter?

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Heat pumps are popular HVAC systems because they pack the power of a heater and an air conditioner into a single unit. Using the process of heat exchange—moving heat from one place to another in order to heat up or cool down the indoors—heat pumps provide effective cooling in summer and heating in winter without draining excessive amounts of power.

But you may have heard that heat pump suffer from a serious drawback: a loss of efficiency in heating mode when the temperature drops too low. If you live in Hatfield, PA, heating your home will be important to you, so you do not want to get trapped with a heater that will start to give up on the job when you need it the most.

However, don’t let this frighten you away from considering a heat pump, as we’ll explain. Call Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling for more information about heat pump installation, as well as the personal attention to help you decide if a heat pump is the right choice for your home.

Heat Pumps and Hybrid Systems

It is true that a heat pump can have difficulty with extreme lows: the refrigerant inside the heat pump must extract heat from outside and bring it inside, and once the temperature drops below the economic balance point (which varies depending on humidity, but is usually around 32°F), the heat pump will work harder to remove enough heat. If you expect temperatures below freezing for a good part of the winter, a heat pump alone may not be enough to keep you warm.

However, a hybrid heat pump offers a solution. These systems combine a heat pump with a back-up heater that uses a separate fuel source, usually a gas furnace. Whenever the temperature drops below the economic balance point, the second system turns on automatically to make up the difference. You get all the benefits of a heat pump, and only have to pay a slight bit more in fuel costs for the secondary system, which will only run occasionally.

You should always consult with heating experts before making a choice about a heat pump, or any heating system. Experts can perform a heat load calculation at your house to determine how much heating power you need for your comfort, and then match you with the ideal system. Perhaps a standard heat pump is sufficient, or maybe you should invest in a hybrid.

Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling has delivered quality comfort to our customers for over 30 years. Contact us if you need heating service in Hatfield, PA.

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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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Benefits of Natural Gas over Oil for Heating

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Natural gas is one of the most popular options for home heating today. It has surpassed oil, which was once at the same level of popularity. Oil heating still exists in homes today; you might have oil powering your boiler or furnace right now. However, oil has declined in popularity for a number of good reasons. We’ll go over the main benefits you’ll get if you change from oil to natural gas in your house.

Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling specializes in converting homes from oil to natural gas. Although this can be a large task, if you put it in the hands of professionals with years of experience, you should have few problems making the switch. You’ll have better heating in Hatfield, PA with a proper oil-to-natural gas conversion.

Why natural gas is superior to oil

  • It’s domestically produced. The U.S. gets the majority of its oil from overseas, while natural gas is primarily a domestic product. If you’re concerned about reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil, then natural gas is a good way to go.
  • It’s more convenient. As natural gas becomes the more popular option, it also becomes easier to obtain. Oil and propane must be delivered to your home, but natural gas comes to you through pipes. This means you don’t have to worry about forgetting to schedule delivery of oil and finding out too late that you don’t have sufficient fuel for your heating system.
  • It’s more efficient. Oil is more wasteful when it burns, since it doesn’t burn as completely as natural gas. You get more energy from natural gas than from an equal amount of oil, and that means savings on your energy bills. To give you a specific example, in 2011 the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that the average U.S. homeowner paid $732 to heat their homes with gas during the winter, while homeowners using oil paid $2,535!
  • It can get you a rebate. Some utility companies, to encourage the switch from oil to gas, offer rebates to residents who decide to make the conversion. These rebates can range up to $400, still more savings to go along with a more efficient fuel source.

If you still use oil to heat your home, we hope we’ve given you something to think about. Making the conversion won’t have to be a headache if you hire experts who have done the job many times before. Contact Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling to make your Hatfield, PA heating the best it can be with an oil-to-natural gas conversion.

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Causes of Uneven Heating

Monday, October 21st, 2013

The heating trouble people worry about the most is that their heaters will stop generating the same amount of warmth that they used to. However, a problem people consider less—and which ends up confounding them more—is when the heater appears to be operating normally, the heat amount seems unchanged, but some rooms are much colder than others.

There are a few reasons that you might be suffering from uneven heating. Our technicians at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling have seen this often, and here are the most common reasons for why it occurs. Contact us for more help with heating in Doylestown, PA if you need it.

Trouble with vents

Let’s start with a simple explanation: blocked vents. If you use a forced air system like a furnace that blows air from vents, the problem might be with the vents themselves. Check to see that they are open in the rooms where the temperature feels lower. Furniture might have been moved to block the vents, or other objects may have been placed in their way.

A poorly sized heater

Now we’ll switch to a complex explanation: the heater is the wrong size for your home. This can be a problem if you had a poor installation service or if you added onto your house after your heating system was installed. A heater which is too small for the requirements of your home will not be able to reach all the rooms and warm them. A heater that’s too large will shut off before it can finish its cycle, and that can also lead to unheated rooms. An improperly sized heater will either need to be replaced or supplemented to keep your home comfortable.

Inferior home insulation

Is your home properly winterized? Because if you have poor insulation, all the heat your system can pour out won’t mean much: the heat will escape through the walls and windows, around the cracks of doors, and through the attic. Uneven heating is a warning sign that this is happening, since the poorly insulated rooms will feel much colder. Have new insulation put in or have the older insulation patched with work from a professional.

Uneven heating can be a simple fix—or a major project. Whichever way it goes, you can trust the trained staff at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling to get to the bottom of the problem and offer a way to fix it. We’ve helped with heating Doylestown, PA for over 30 years, and we’d love you to join our family of satisfied clients.

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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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Warning Signs of a Problem with your Heating System

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

During a Pennsylvania winter, the last thing you want to happen is to have your heating system suddenly die on you. Getting repairs done can be difficult during a season when many HVAC specialists have a backlog of emergency calls. It’s a smart idea to watch out for signs that your heating system is developing problems long before they cause a complete shutdown.

This list addresses some common signs that you may need repairs done as soon as possible. If you live in Hatfield, PA, heating service with Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling will provide you with reliable repairs to make sure none of these warning signs evolve into something far worse.

  • Uneven heating: No matter what kind of heating system you have—boiler, furnace or heat pump—you should already have a good idea how effectively it spreads warmth throughout your home. If you notice cold spots, check to see that vents are open and there are no leaks around windows or outside doors. If the uneven heating continues, it could indicate a problem with your system. A professional can diagnose what might be causing this and help you find a solution.
  • Strange noises: The boiler starts to rumble. The heat pump makes a grinding noise. The furnace begins to rattle. All HVAC systems make some level of noise while they operate, but if you start hearing unusual sounds, it could be a red flag that something is seriously amiss. Some simple maintenance, such as changing the filter on a furnace, might fix the problem. But if you’re not sure what to do, don’t try to troubleshoot the issue yourself. Bring in a trained technician to find out if the noise is a threat to your whole heating system.
  • Increased energy bills: If you see an unexpected rise in your energy costs, it may mean that your heating system is working inefficiently. It might still provide you the level of heat that you want, but it is working much harder to do the job. An overworked heater is in danger of wearing out and breaking down.

At Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, we recommend that you get a maintenance inspection during the less busy fall season before any of serious damages can develop. Prevention is the best defense. But if you suspect that your heater might be edging toward a breakdown, contact our technicians right away to schedule a visit. For Hatfield heating needs, trust the high-quality services of Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling.

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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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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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What is a Hybrid Heating System?

Monday, March 11th, 2013

A hybrid heating system combines a gas furnace with an electric heat pump. It provides excellent comfort year round, and tends to be most energy-efficient during moderate heating conditions. While conventional heating solutions opt for one or the other, a hybrid heating system seeks to find a balance between comfort and efficiency, and passes the savings on to you. For more information about hybrid heating in Maple Glen, PA, get in touch with Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. We offer an extensive selection of hybrid heating systems, and we have a team of highly experienced and certified technicians ready to help you install it.

As you probably know, a gas furnace works by drawing energy from natural gas and converting it to hot air to be distributed throughout your home by ducts. A heat pump does not heat air, so much as move heat indoors or outdoors, depending upon the season. It works similarly to an air conditioner, although it does not tend to cool as effectively as a stand-alone air conditioner. That said, an air conditioner only cools, while a heat pump can work throughout the year.

The purpose of the hybrid heating system is to react automatically to changing outside temperatures, and to adjust to the most energy-efficient heating method accordingly. The beauty of this system is in its versatility. On those extremely cold days, your system senses the necessary adjustment and fires up your gas furnace to provide extra heat. On moderate days, your heat pump moves the heat inside the home by the circulation of a refrigerant.

The great thing about this system is that a heat pump also provides cooling in the summer. As a comprehensive system, your hybrid heating system can actually work for you all year long, which means energy and cost savings throughout the year. Not only that, but putting your heat pump to work on moderate days, you are also reducing the amount of fossil fuels used, which make the hybrid heating system far more eco-friendly than conventional furnace-based systems.

For more information about hybrid heating systems in Maple Glen, PA, or to schedule a consultation, call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today!


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Thinking of Switching from Oil to Gas? We Can Help Update Your Heating System

Monday, February 11th, 2013

If you’re thinking about switching from an oil-fired heating system to a gas-fired one in Lansdale, PA, there are many considerations that you need to think about. There are many benefits to switching from oil to gas and you should always consult the services of a professional heating contractor. If you have any questions about the conversion process, the technicians at Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling can help. We thought it would be helpful if we put together some of the benefits of switching from oil to gas.

The Oil to Gas Conversion Process

With an oil-fired heating system, there is a tank on your property that need to be filed on a regular basis. Part of the conversion process is that this tank will need to be dug up and filled in. In some cases, your utility company may provide financial incentives by offering to pay for the removal of your tank. Check with your local utility company.

The next step in the process is to dig a trench from the street to your home to bury the new gas line. This is another long process that can be fairly expensive. However, if you have other gas-fired appliances in your home then you may not need to dig such a trench.

After that, you’ll need to buy a new furnace or boiler that burns natural gas. Furnaces are generally less expensive than boilers. Then the gas line from the street will be connected to the new appliance in your home.

Once the process is complete you’ll have comfortable, inexpensive heating in your home without the need to constantly re-fill your oil tank.

If you’re interested in converting your home from oil to gas in Lansdale, PA, call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. We have experienced and highly trained technicians who can walk you through the process and make it as convenient as possible. Call us today!  

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