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

What Information Should I Keep in My Home?

Friday, July 15th, 2011

There are a lot of important documents you receive when you own a home. You have a deed, a title, tax information, service contracts, warranties, and other paperwork needed to maintain your home and protect it against damage or theft. If there is a fire or something breaks you need immediate access to your documents no matter the situation. So, they need to be close at hand.

Specific Documents to Have

Always have your warranty and insurance documents on hand. If something happens to an appliance or piece of equipment, you don’t want to spent time calling customer service to obtain your policy numbers. You want to take action now and that means you need that information on hand immediately. Keep paper copies of your insurance forms, warranties, service contracts and anything else you may need in the case of an emergency. Additionally, it’s good to have a call sheet with all important information and policy numbers typed up for quick access.

Sensitive Document Storage

For special documents you store at home like your deed, mortgage papers or insurance documents, a fire proof safe is a good investment. If something happens, you want that information to be safe and immediately available. Many homeowners create photocopies of these documents for easy reference and put the originals in a safe deposit box somewhere so they cannot be destroyed in case of an emergency.

Digital Copies

There is also a growing trend to scan and store digital copies of your information on a computer hard drive or in an email account. This ensures that no matter what happens you always have a copy of your most important documents. You can then keep your original signed copies in a safe deposit box and have all the pertinent information for your home available via a computer no matter where you are.

Documents are easy to misplace or accidentally destroy when you’re not careful, but those simple pieces of paper are more important than you can imagine. You may not even look at them for years to come, but when the time comes to do so, you want them to be available and in good condition. So, take proper steps to create photocopies and digital copies, and store the originals somewhere safe to protect from fire and other disasters.

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What Is New in Air Conditioning?

Monday, June 13th, 2011

There are developments being made in air conditioning just about every day. This is a huge business, and so manufacturers are constantly trying to outdo each other as it is their only way to compete for customers. What this means for you as a consumer is that you will always have an excellent selection of products from which to choose.

Energy efficiency is one of the main selling points for any air conditioning system. For that reason, manufacturers are constantly working to come up with new and better models. The most advanced air conditioning systems on the market have energy efficiency ratings that by far surpass what was available even ten years ago and it is only going to keep getting better.

Another type of air conditioning system that is relatively new but is rapidly gaining in popularity is the ductless mini-split system. These and other compact air conditioners are popular because they can be installed virtually anywhere and do not take up much space. They also do not require the duct system that many other central air conditioners do.

In this way, ductless mini-splits combine the best of central air conditioning and more conventional window or wall mounted units. They keep individual rooms of your house cool and comfortable and can be controlled independently of one another, but they are also very quiet and energy efficient. In fact, ductless mini-splits are among some of the most energy efficient options available in the air conditioning world today.

For many years, enjoying the comfort that air conditioning provides has meant putting up with the noise of the compressor as well. Now, however, you can get the best of both worlds. Many air conditioning companies, in response to customer requests, have been working to curtail the noise and vibrations that air conditioners make.

This has affected models all up and down the line. Whether it is a window mounted unit you are after or a large central air conditioning system, you can rest assured that the model you buy today will be much quieter and produce a great deal fewer vibrations than your old system.

This is not only good news for you. It can also help to make your relationship with your neighbors a bit friendlier. The outside component of most air conditioning systems is usually where all the noise and vibrations come from anyway, and so your neighbors are likely to hear and feel it as well.

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How Do I Check for a Dirty Evaporator Coil?

Monday, May 30th, 2011

The evaporator coil is an essential piece of your air conditioning system. It absorbs heat from air that passes over it, and that air then travels into your home to cool it. So if your coil is dirty or isn’t functioning properly, the cooling power of your air conditioning system is diminished. Fortunately, this problem is fixed easily by cleaning the evaporator coil. You can do this on your own or have a professional come in to take care of it.

Signs of a Dirty Evaporator Coil

The most obvious sign of a dirty evaporator coil is an overall drop in system pressure. As long as you know what constitutes a normal pressure for your system, you should be able to tell if the current pressure is below that level. If it is, a dirty evaporator coil is probably your culprit. You can also check the static pressure in your system to see if that is low, but this requires specialized equipment.

Even if you don’t notice any particular signs that your air conditioning system isn’t working properly, it’s a good idea to clean your evaporator coils once a year or so. This can help prevent any larger problems from developing in the future.

Finding Your Coil

Probably the hardest part of cleaning an evaporator coil is reaching it. Unlike your condenser coil, which is located in your outdoor condenser unit, the evaporator coil is found inside near the air handler or furnace. If you have the owner’s manual, there should be detailed instructions telling you where the coil is and how to safely access it.

Alternately, you can have an HVAC technician show you what to do the next time they come out to work on your system. Whatever you do, though, make sure that power to your AC unit is completely shut off before you start working on it. Once you’ve gained access to the coil, use a brush or vacuum attachment to remove any debris or sediment you find there.

The Importance of Maintenance

Cleaning your evaporator coil is only one part of the regular maintenance required to keep your air conditioning system in good working order for the foreseeable future. There are plenty of things you can do on your own, but it pays to have a professional come out once a year or so to check out the entire system and make any necessary repairs.

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What Is Forced Air Heating?

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Chances are that you’ve heard the term forced air heating before, particularly if you’re in the market for a new home heating system. But what does that actually mean? The truth is that if you’re asking this question, you’re not alone. There are so many types of home heating systems out there that it’s common to be a bit confused and overwhelmed by it all.

The truth is that a forced air heating system is simply a heating system that distributes heat throughout your house using air to carry it. In this type of system, heated air travels through a system of ducts and is expelled through vents into the different rooms and areas of your home in order to maintain a particular temperature. That temperature, of course, is whatever you set your thermostat to, and when the desired temperature is reached, the heat will shut off until the temperature drops down again.

The main difference between the different types of forced air heating systems is the type of equipment that heats the air. For instance, you could have a gas furnace, an electric furnace, a heat pump or a hydronic coil. All of these are capable of heating air, and when paired with a fan, blower or air handler, can distribute heated air throughout your home.

Many forced air heating systems are remarkably energy efficient and can effectively keep you home comfortable all winter long. Additionally, they are generally made to be incorporated with central air conditioning systems for year round temperature control. Heat pumps are especially convenient in this way, as they’re able to both heat and cool your home depending on the season and your home comfort needs.

Particularly if you already have ductwork in place or if you’re choosing a heating system for a new construction home, it can make a lot of sense to opt for some type of forced air heating. However, if you’re looking to replace an existing heating system in a house that doesn’t already have ductwork in place, the need to put it in can add a lot to the overall installation costs of the system.

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How Can I Prevent Clogged Drains?

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

One of the most frustrating plumbing issues any home owner will encounter is a clogged drain. Not only are clogged drains a nuisance, they are largely avoidable, so it becomes that much more frustrating when it happens since you know that you could have taken preventative measures long before the problem occurred. To help stop your drains from clogging in the future, here are some useful preventative tips:

  • Set Cooking Grease Aside – Cooking grease is thick, viscous and clings to the sides of almost all types of pipes. So, instead of pouring it down your sink and hoping it clears out on its own, pour it into a coffee can and set it aside. There are a number of places where you can recycle old grease.
  • Flush Garbage Disposals – When you use your garbage disposal, it is imperative that you flush cold water through the system at the same time. Without water to flush the food particles through the pipes, anything ground up in the disposal will become stuck and with the application of grease or other food particles can easily become a thick clog.
  • Pour Boiling Hot Water Down the Pipes – At least once a week it is a good idea to pour 2-3 quarts of boiling water down your sinks and bathtub to loosen any pre-clogs that have formed. Things like soap, grease, food, and hair can all be dislodged by an application of hot water on a regular basis.
  • Taking Care with Your Toilet – A toilet is not designed to flush anything that will technically fit down the hole. Even for paper products that seem to be flushable, take care in what goes into the toilet bowl. Paper towels, garbage, and wrappers should not be flushed or they are likely to cause clogs.
  • Use Strainers – Install strainers on all of your sinks, including the ones in your bathroom. A simple strainer will catch excess bits of food, hair, and other grime that has a habit of falling down the drain and getting flushed along with the dishwater or during a shower.

With care, your drains will remain clog free and never require the services of a snake or a plumber. If you do get past the point of no return, do not panic just yet – there are a number of steps you can take to remove a small clog without chemicals or professional help. However, if the clog refuses to budge or begins to backup, know when to call a plumber.

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Bathtub Drain Plumbing: Things You Should Know

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

When we think of clogged drains and plumbing problems, we most frequently think of toilets and kitchen sinks, but one of the most common drains to cause problems in a home is the bathtub. To avoid drain problems and to help fix any problems that might crop up, here are some tips for how to handle your finicky bathtub drain.

  • How the Bathtub Drain Works – A Bath tub drain works the same as the other drains in your home with a simple trap that ensures the safe transfer of water out of your home and blockage of sewer gasses from getting into your home. The drain itself is frequently open with a small crack – roughly a quarter inch – beneath a larger drain plug that can be lowered when you fill the tub. While the space is not large enough for objects like a bar of soap to enter, it is plenty large enough for hair, soap scum, and other small objects from a bath or shower to enter and start clogging that trap.
  • Cleaning the Drain – To cut down on how much hair and gunk actually gets into the drain you should take off the entire drain mechanism once a week and remove any excess hair. You should also use some form of wire device like a bent coat hanger or scrubber to reach in and remove any hair you can reach. There are specific plumbing devices to help with this as well, but a hanger works just fine assuming you do not have a heavy clog. It is also a good idea to run boiling water through your drain once every week to clear out any soap and hair build up. While most soap is water soluble, it can create a thick, greasy clog when combined with hair. Hot water can help to remove it before a clog occurs.
  • If a Clog Occurs – If a clog does occur, you should use the hot water method along with a plunger to try and clear out as much of the clog as possible. Avoid chemical use at all costs. Bathrooms are usually small rooms and even with the fan on, the fumes can be dangerous and the chemicals caustic on your pipes and tub. Baking soda and vinegar often help for small clogs, but otherwise, you should move on to a snake for physical clog removal.

If you have a clog deeper than the snake can reach or that you simply cannot affect with the tools listed above, it may be necessary to call a professional who can track your clog into the pipes and find where the root of the problem is. It might be just too deep in your drainage pipe or it could be a completely different area of your plumbing system.

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The Energy Star Label

Friday, January 14th, 2011

The Energy Star program is a joint program of the US environmental protection agency and the US department of Energy. The program’s goal is to help consumers save money and protect the environment through energy-efficient products and practices.

The best-known aspect of the Energy Star program is the Energy Star label, which is awarded to appliances and other items that are significantly more efficient than average. Energy Star efficiency guidelines vary depending on product category, but in general, Energy Star products use 20%-30% less energy than minimum federal standards.

The Energy Star guidelines were designed both with energy efficiency and performance in mind. While low energy use is one of the most important criteria for selecting Energy Star appliances, product performance, features, warranty, safety, and durability are also taken into account. Price is also a factor: if a product costs significantly more than other products in its category, it will only receive the Energy Star label if the up-front cost will be recovered through savings in operating costs within a reasonable amount of time.

The first Energy Star labels were given to computers and monitors in 1992. Now labels can be found on many other products, including:

  • Furnaces
  • Hot water heaters
  • Air conditioners
  • Dishwashers
  • Refrigerators
  • Light bulbs (florescent and LED)
  • TVs

Energy Star products can be found wherever appliances and electronics are sold. Look for the blue and white Energy Star label. You can also look for the yellow EnergyGuide label that is affixed to most heating and cooling systems and household appliances. This label is created by the Department of Energy and shows a product’s annual cost of operation compared to similar models. It will often indicate whether a product is Energy Star.

It’s important to note that while an Energy Star label indicates that a heater, air conditioner, or household appliance is more efficient than the minimum guidelines, it does not always mean that you are getting the most energy efficient option on the market. If you are making a major appliance purchase, use the Energy Star label to be sure every model on your “short list” is energy efficient. Then, look carefully at the EnergyGuide label to compare the efficiency of the models you are considering.

The EPA has also extended the Energy Star label to cover new homes and commercial and industrial buildings. To qualify for the Energy Star rating, a new home must use at least 15% less energy than standard homes (built to the 2004 International Residential Code). Energy Star homes usually include insulation, high-performance windows, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, appliances, lighting, and water heaters.

The Energy Star standards and label have been recognized in many other countries, including Canada, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan and the European Union.

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How Does a Heat Pump Work?

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

If you’re in the market for a new home heating and cooling system, a heat pump is definitely an option worth considering. However, while the popularity of these systems is growing rapidly, many people still don’t understand what they’re all about. Before you go out and get yourself a new home comfort system, you should make sure you really know what you’re looking at.
As their name suggests, heat pumps move heat from one location to another. However, their name can be misleading as well. Heat pumps are able to both heat your home in the winter and keep it cool in the summer by taking heat from the air in one place and sending it to another.

For example, your heat pump will remove the heat from your indoor air in the summer and pump it outside to keep your home cool. In the winter, the process is reversed, and the heat pump gathers heat from the outdoor air and pumps it inside to keep you house warm.

Of course, it’s not hard to see how the air inside your home in the summer has heat in it. But the outdoor air in the winter is cold. So how does a heat pump heat your house with cold air? Well, the truth is that there is almost always some heat in the air, no matter how cold it seems to you and me.

In fact, the temperature would have to drop well into the negative range before there was absolutely no heat to be found in the air. And heat pumps are specially designed to find that heat and collect it.

Basically all heat pumps work on this principle. However, they can’t keep your house comfortable all on their own. Heat pumps are usually installed as part of a complete home heating and cooling system. This means they’ll be paired with an air handler that can circulate the temperature controlled air throughout the house.

There are also some heat pumps that supplement the amount of heat they’re able to pull out of the air by heating it as it passes through. These types of heat pumps are often more effective in cooler areas, but because they require more energy to actually generate heat, they’re not typically as energy efficient as models that rely on their ability to get heat only out of the air.

If you’re in the market for a new home heating and cooling system, a heat pump is definitely an option worth considering. However, while the popularity of these systems is growing rapidly, many people still don’t understand what they’re all about. Before you go out and get yourself a new home comfort system, you should make sure you really know what you’re looking at

As their name suggests, heat pumps move heat from one location to another. However, their name can be misleading as well. Heat pumps are able to both heat your home in the winter and keep it cool in the summer by taking heat from the air in one place and sending it to another.

For example, your heat pump will remove the heat from your indoor air in the summer and pump it outside to keep your home cool. In the winter, the process is reversed, and the heat pump gathers heat from the outdoor air and pumps it inside to keep you house warm.

Of course, it’s not hard to see how the air inside your home in the summer has heat in it. But the outdoor air in the winter is cold. So how does a heat pump heat your house with cold air? Well, the truth is that there is almost always some heat in the air, no matter how cold it seems to you and me.

In fact, the temperature would have to drop well into the negative range before there was absolutely no heat to be found in the air. And heat pumps are specially designed to find that heat and collect it.

Basically all heat pumps work on this princ

If you’re in the market for a new home heating and cooling system, a heat pump is definitely an option worth considering. However, while the popularity of these systems is growing rapidly, many people still don’t understand what they’re all about. Before you go out and get yourself a new home comfort system, you should make sure you really know what you’re looking at

As their name suggests, heat pumps move heat from one location to another. However, their name can be misleading as well. Heat pumps are able to both heat your home in the winter and keep it cool in the summer by taking heat from the air in one place and sending it to another.

For example, your heat pump will remove the heat from your indoor air in the summer and pump it outside to keep your home cool. In the winter, the process is reversed, and the heat pump gathers heat from the outdoor air and pumps it inside to keep you house warm.

Of course, it’s not hard to see how the air inside your home in the summer has heat in it. But the outdoor air in the winter is cold. So how does a heat pump heat your house with cold air? Well, the truth is that there is almost always some heat in the air, no matter how cold it seems to you and me.

In fact, the temperature would have to drop well into the negative range before there was absolutely no heat to be found in the air. And heat pumps are specially designed to find that heat and collect it.

Basically all heat pumps work on this principle. However, they can’t keep your house comfortable all on their own. Heat pumps are usually installed as part of a complete home heating and cooling system. This means they’ll be paired with an air handler that can circulate the temperature controlled air throughout the house.

There are also some heat pumps that supplement the amount of heat they’re able to pull out of the air by heating it as it passes through. These types of heat pumps are often more effective in cooler areas, but because they require more energy to actually generate heat, they’re not typically as energy efficient as models that rely on their ability to get heat only out of the air.

iple. However, they can’t keep your house comfortable all on their own. Heat pumps are usually installed as part of a complete home heating and cooling system. This means they’ll be paired with an air handler that can circulate the temperature controlled air throughout the house.

There are also some heat pumps that supplement the amount of heat they’re able to pull out of the air by heating it as it passes through. These types of heat pumps are often more effective in cooler areas, but because they require more energy to actually generate heat, they’re not typically as energy efficient as models that rely on their ability to get heat only out of the air.

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