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

How is Geothermal Heating Different than a Boiler or Furnace?

Monday, October 8th, 2012

If you need a new heating system in Quakertown, there are quite a few options to choose from. But before we can talk about the differences between boilers, furnaces and geothermal systems we need to understand how they work.

How a Boiler Works

Boilers, like most traditional heating systems, require a fuel source, normally oil or gas, which is combusted in exchange for heat. In the case of a boiler, that heat is transferred to water that is circulated to radiators in each room where the heat from the water is expelled into the air.

How Furnaces Work

With furnaces, the heat generated by the burning of fuel is transferred to a piece of metal called a heat exchanger. The furnace blows cool air from the house over the heat exchanger which warms the air and it is then delivered to the rest of the house using a series of ducts.

How Geothermal Systems Work

A geothermal system uses a pump to circulate liquid, sometimes water or a mixture of anti-freeze and water, into the ground where it is either heated or cooled—depending upon the needs of the people in the house.

The Differences between Boilers, Furnaces and Geothermal Systems

The main difference between a geothermal system and a boiler or a furnace is that it doesn’t require any kind of fuel source. The energy for the geothermal system is actually in the ground. If you dig about 10 feet into the ground, the temperature of the soil stays at an almost constant 55° F no matter what the temperature of the air is above it. When the air in the home needs to be cooled, a geothermal system absorbs the heat from the air and transfers it into the ground. When the home needs to be warmed, the process is reversed: heat from the ground is absorbed by the liquid in the pipes and transferred to the air in the home.

The only energy being used is the electricity to run the heat pump that circulates the liquid in the pipes and the air handler to distribute the conditioned air.

If you’d like to learn more about installing a geothermal system or to see if your property in Quakertown can support one, call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today.

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Heating Guide: Boiler Maintenance

Monday, September 24th, 2012

If you own a boiler in Jamison, regular maintenance is very important. Performed in the fall, before your boiler is turned on for the first time, this maintenance will ensure your system works properly and efficiently for the coming months. Here are a few of the tasks performed by a Jamison heating professional during a maintenance call visit:

  • Clean Surfaces – The front and rear doors to the boiler are removed and the surfaces are all vacuumed and cleaned carefully.
  • Gasket Repair – All gaskets on the doors are checked and replaced if necessary to ensure your system works properly. Similar repairs are performed on the hand hole and man hole plates and the low and auxiliary low water cut off controls.
  • Burner and Pilot – The burner plates and pilot light are thoroughly inspected and cleaned. A technician will also check the pilot electrode and then test the pilot to ensure it works as intended.
  • Air Damper – The air damper and blower are both cleaned and tested for potential issues before turning back on.
  • Burner Adjustment – The burners are tested and adjusted for proper combustion and tests are performed to ensure the flame is right. Flame safeguard and safety trip checks are also performed to ensure the system will turn off as needed.
  • Control Piping – The control piping plugs are removed and cleaned, as is the entire pathways between

Boiler maintenance is the most effective way to ensure your heating system continues to work properly throughout the coming winter. Because of the nature of a boiler and the fact that most systems use natural gas or oil, it is important that a professional be the one to perform the above tasks. Call Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling today to schedule your appointment!

 

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Steps to Take When Your HVAC System Breaks Down

Monday, September 17th, 2012

If your Chalfont heating or air conditioning system breaks down, there are a few simple steps you should take before calling a professional. Here is a rundown of exactly what you should do and how these steps will ensure the system is fixed quickly and properly to help keep your family comfortable at all times.

  1. Check the Power – First, check the electrical power to your system. Look for a blown fuse or flipped circuit if the system won’t turn on at all. If this is the problem, watch for a recurrence. If it happens more than once, you should call a professional to fix the problem in the future.
  2. Check the Thermostat – Check all of your thermostats to ensure they are not only reading the proper temperature, but that they are set to the right temperature. Often, what seems like a big issue can simply be due to a thermostat being set wrong.
  3. Inspect the Outdoor Unit – Check outside for debris or brush around your condenser unit. This can block air flow and cause the system to shut down.
  4. Inspect the Indoor Unit – Check your indoor units for the same buildup of debris around them and for any other issues like dirt or dust on the coils.
  5. Check the Filters – While a clogged filter would not necessarily shut down an HVAC system under normal circumstances, it could lead to such a problem if it gets bad enough.
  6. Call a Professional – Finally, if you try everything listed above and you cannot get your air conditioner or heating system to turn back on or run consistently, now may be the time to call a Chalfont heating professional for a thorough inspection. This is when it could be a real breakdown which is likely more costly to repair.

If you have a problem with your air conditioner or heating system, definitely check common issues that could have led to the breakdown, but always call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling if real repairs are needed.

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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!

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Benefits of Forced Air Systems

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Forced air systems are usually hooked up to both a heating element and an air conditioning element, both of which send their pre-treated air through a series of ventilation ducts located throughout a building.  Many times the heating and air conditioning devices are separate, such as a gas furnace for heating and a central air conditioning unit for cooling.  Other times they can be one and the same unit like with packaged air conditioners and heat pumps which does both jobs with one machine.  This makes for a great deal of variety in the choices of heating and air conditioning types that are available for use.

With use of a programmable or digital thermostat there is a high degree of control with a forced air system.  You can Set time-of-day and day-of-week settings to accommodate when the building is in use and when it is not.  There are also options for setting temperatures in certain sections of your home while other sections remain untouched.  All of this allows for lower utility bills, since only the rooms which are used frequently are heated or air conditioned.

Air conditioners and heaters utilized today have much higher energy efficiency ratings than those of years past; couple this with a well maintained, properly sealed, insulated and balanced duct system and the energy-savings increase even further.

Forced air systems cost anywhere from 40% to 60% less to install than comparable radiant systems.  They also offer special features such as filtration systems and ultra-violet germicidal lights, which can keep your indoor air clean and healthy.

Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling is an air conditioning and heating company in Horsham that provides quality HVAC services to each client.  Let us assist you in determining which forced air system is right for your unique needs.

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What Is an Electronic Ignition on a Heating System?

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Gas furnaces are very complex pieces of equipment to have in your Doylestown home. Modern ones in particular are designed to use as little gas as possible, and to recapture as much of the heat generated from burning that gas as can be done safely. One of the many safety and energy-efficient advances in furnace technology in the least twenty years is the electronic ignition.

 The Purpose of Electronic Ignition

In older furnaces and boilers in Doylestown, a pilot light would stay lit continuously whenever the heating system needed to be available. That meant continuously burning gas throughout the fall, winter and spring months for those times when heat was needed. It was inefficient and unsafe, especially in older devices that didn’t have safety valves.

Today, furnaces are built with electronic ignitions – small devices that only ignite the gas supply when the thermostat is on. there are two types of electronic ignition used in boilers and furnaces today.

  • Intermittent Pilot – An intermittent pilot is unique in that it releases a spark through an electronic component to the gas pilot, lighting the gas burners.
  • Hot Surface Ignition – Hot surface ignition uses an electronic filament (like a lightbulb) to heat up and ignite the burners when the thermostat calls for heat.

Both devices are designed to use a very small amount of electricity and reduce the amount of gas needed for continuous operation of your furnace.

Safety Benefits of an Electronic Ignition

While gas efficiency was a big part of the transition from pilot lights to electronic ignition, safety was an equally big component. Whereas before, the pilot light was continuously lit, meaning gas was continuously flowing into the furnace, today’s furnaces are essentially off when not in use. This means less of a chance that gas will flow unburned or that the pilot will get dirty or burn too soft, releasing carbon monoxide.

If your furnace or boiler still uses a traditional pilot light, consider having it upgraded to electronic ignition, not just to save gas but to keep your home and family safer.

For more information about new Doylestown heating system features, give Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling a call today!

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Do I Need to Supplement My Heat Pump With Another Heating System?

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

People often turn to heat pumps as a solution for their North Wales home heating and cooling needs because they want a single, all-inclusive system that covers all the bases. The convenience and simplicity is part of the allure of choosing a heat pump to begin with.

However, it’s not always that simple. There are situations where a heat pump is not enough to handle the needs of the whole home. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the whole idea goes out the window, but the heat pump may need some help in the form of a supplementary heating supply.

Here are some reasons/situations that may call for a supplemental heat source in North Wales in addition to a heat pump:

  1. A Cold Climate – Although heat pumps can serve as the primary heating system when temperatures drop as low as 30 degrees Fahrenheit, they have trouble keeping up when the cold snap lasts longer than a few days. In any climate where temperatures dip below this mark for a length of time, a supplemental heating system is recommended.
  2. A Large Home – Heat pumps come in many different sizes, but if yours does not have the capacity to match the size of your home, then it won’t be able to heat the whole house. It’s as simple as that. If you are installing a new heat pump, be sure to get one that is properly sized. But, if you have an existing heat pump that is overmatched by your home’s size, simply supplementing it may be the easiest solution.
  3. The Power Goes Out – A heat pumps’ use of electricity is a benefit in most situations, but unfortunately it means they are helpless when the power goes out. To avoid suffering in the winter chill when a blizzard takes out a local power line, have a backup/supplemental heat source on hand to use until the power comes back on.

Those are a few situations you may encounter in which supplementing a heat pump is a good idea. Remember, though, that each situation is different. When installing a new heat pump, consult with a North Wales installer beforehand to see if you should also have a supplemental heat system in addition to the heat pump. This is especially important if you live a cold climate.

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5 Ways to Improve IAQ and Reduce Air Pollution

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Your Horsham home may be haven for pollutants that can cause irritation to the upper respiratory system of anyone who comes inside. These allergens and pollutants are easy to remove however by taking some simple steps such as the five listed below:

  1. HEPA Filtration – Step one is to use HEPA filtration to remove as much of what is on the floor as possible through vacuuming. HEPA vacuum cleaners can remove years of cleaners, solvents, dander, mineral build ups and other toxins that tend to accumulate in spaces that normal vacuums cannot reach. It may be a bit of an investment, but a high powered vacuum cleaner can have a tremendously positive impact on your lifestyle and reduce pollutants.
  2. Stop Outside Stuff from Coming In – Some of the worst pollutants your home will face are from outside. So, make sure you have doormats at every door and that your family and friends remove their shoes before coming inside. You can have a second mat inside as a friendly reminder that cleaning the shoes is not an option but a strict necessity.
  3. Humidity Helps – Humidity levels between 30% and 50% reduce the presence of dust mites, molds, bacteria and many other indoor pollutants. Air conditioning in the summer is helpful to reduce humidity, though a dehumidifier is recommended for those days when the temperature doesn’t justify full blown air conditioning. Additionally, look for sources of excess humidity like leaky pipes, standing water, or clothes drying.
  4. Radon Testing – We’ve recently discovered that Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States each year and can be present in almost any home. It is not a location specific pollutant, so it’s important to have your indoor air tested for Radon as soon as you move into a new home. Once testing is done, have any problems repaired immediately.
  5. Cut the Chemicals – There are a number of high quality household cleaners that don’t contain chemicals. Avoid ammonia, bleach and other chemical laden cleaners that can inflame allergies and pollute the water supply. Your home will be just as clean and you won’t feel uncomfortable afterwards.

Proper cleaning and careful selection of compounds and what goes into your air will help you avoid creating new air quality problems in the house. Done right, this process will make everyone in your home feel more comfortable.

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How a Furnace Works

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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No Heat in the House? Things to Check and Do in Buckingham

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

As you get ready for the cold months ahead in Buckingham, it is a good idea to remind yourself of some basic heating maintenance and repair facts. In general, when your heating system stops working, you’ll need to call a professional to come out and take a look. However, before you do that, there are likely a couple of things you can check on your own to ensure that there really is a problem with the system itself.

For instance, if it’s cold in your house and your heat isn’t coming on, check to make sure that the thermostat is set to a high enough temperature that the heating system would be triggered. Particularly if this is the first really cold day of the season, it’s entirely possible that your thermostat was turned down at some point and left there. And if the thermostat isn’t turned up high enough, the heat will never come on.

Also, it’s worth just taking a second to check and make sure that the power switch on the heating system itself is actually in the proper on position. For the most part, there would be no reason for you to turn this off, but it’s always possible it could have happened in any number of ways and it only takes a second to check.

Depending on the type of fuel source your heating system uses, it’s probably a good idea to check to make sure the supply is still available as well. If you use natural gas, check to make sure that the gas line is open, but don’t try to repair it yourself if it seems to be compromised. If you find something like that, be sure to call your gas company right away.

However, if you use oil as a heat source, take a quick peek at the levels in your tank. There’s always the possibility that you used more than you thought you did or that a delivery was missed for some reason and so your heating system simply has no fuel to run on. Similarly, if your heating system runs on electricity, make sure that the fuse wasn’t blown or that it’s not just too loose to provide an adequate power supply.

If you’ve covered all of these basic troubleshooting bases, it may be time to take a closer look at the heating system itself. On just about every type of system there should be some type of reset switch or button. Follow the instructions to press this button and engage the reset process, but be sure to only try this once. If that resetting doesn’t work, it’s time to back off and call in some professional help.

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