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

What Types of Tankless Hot Water Heaters Are Available?

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Tankless water heaters are becoming more and more popular options for homeowners, thanks to better, more effective designs and their ability to greatly reduce energy usage. What’s even better is that if you choose to install a tankless water heater, you also can choose how to power it, with either natural gas electricity. Which type of tankless hot water heater is best for your home in Jenkintown? Let the experts at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling give you some food for thought below.

Electric vs. Gas

So which is the better tankless system for your home? First, to have a gas-powered tankless water heater, you must have access to a natural gas line or an LP (liquid propane) tank. If you don’t have access to either of these, you will probably be limited to the installation of an electric tankless system. On the whole, the installation costs of an electric tankless system are less expensive, mostly because combustion tankless systems require specific venting that includes a flue. However, operating an electric tankless water heater will most likely be more expensive as electricity costs more than natural gas; in fact, it may be 10-15% less expensive to operate a gas tankless unit than an electrical one. When it comes to deciding which type will be the best fit for your home, ask the following kinds of questions:

  • What is your preference?
  • What kinds of power do you have access to?
  • What is your daily water usage?
  • Does size of the unit matter? (Gas tankless units are about 30% larger than electric ones)
  • What are the installation costs for both?
  • What kind of energy costs can you anticipate from operating each one?

Always Work with a Trained Professional

To help ensure that you purchase and install a tankless water heater that fits your needs and provides enough hot water to your home, work with a trained specialist.

The tankless hot water heater experts at Carney Plumbing Heating &Cooling can maintain and repair your unit when needed. Call us today and schedule an appointment.

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Using Your Air Conditioning System Efficiently

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

One of the most frequently asked questions we get during the hot summer months concerns how to use your air conditioning in Lansdale, PA more efficiently. While we cannot control the seemingly ever-rising costs of energy, we can control how we use that energy to keep our homes cool, crisp, and refreshing. And that’s what today’s post will be about. There is a great variety of ways you can use your AC efficiently, and we’ll only be able to touch on the topic only briefly today. If you’re in need of professional air conditioning services in Lansdale, PA, do not hesitate to get in touch with one of the friendly technicians at Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today.

  • Clean and replace your air filter on a regular basis: We can’t emphasize this simple task enough. Too many perfectly good ACs are ruined every year because of homeowner neglect. While you rely on the professional skills of your technician for the majority of maintenance duties, cleaning and replacing your air filter is one of the few things you can do, and it’s critical to the longevity of your AC as well as to the energy efficiency with which it operates. A dirty or clogged air filter can neither prevent the accumulation of dust and debris on sensitive mechanical components nor allow cool air to pass uninhibited.
  • Enroll in a preventive maintenance program: Prevention is incredibly important as a way to stave off unnecessary repairs and premature replacement. Routine professional maintenance includes comprehensive inspection to recognize problems before they start, cleaning to ensure that your system operates well, and adjustments to ensure that it’s operating efficiently and safely.
  • Install a programmable thermostat: If you have a manual thermostat, you’re missing out on the benefits of a digital programmable model. It allows you to boost energy efficiency without sacrificing comfort when you create a schedule of cooling that works around your lifestyle. Automatic, gradual cooling also cuts down on drastic manual changes that can cause wasteful energy consumption.

If you’re looking for more ways to make your air conditioning in Lansdale, PA more energy efficient, call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today.

 

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Hiring Guide When Looking for a Plumber

Monday, March 25th, 2013

While it may not be difficult to find a plumber in Lansdale, PA, finding a good one can be challenging. After all, your particular home needs are different from the next homeowner, and you want someone who’s fair, reliable, and does exceptional work. You shouldn’t have to settle for anything less. In this post, we’d like to draw on our experience as a team of comprehensive plumbing specialists to give you some tips on choosing a local plumber. When you need a plumber in Lansdale, PA, call Carney Plumbing Heating Cooling today! 

Here are some things to consider when hiring a plumber:

  • Reputation. In this trade, plumbers and homeowners alike rely on reputation. For plumbers, a good reputation is a seal of public approval for plumbing excellence. For homeowners, a plumber’s good reputation is a barometer of quality and trustworthiness. Check with your local Better Business Bureau to see if your plumber is in good standing.
  • Reliability. No matter what size your job is—to fix a leak under the kitchen sink or a comprehensive repiping—you need to be able to depend on your plumber to show up at the right time and to perform the work efficiently.
  • Quality. Quality is a difficult thing to measure, but you’ll know it when you see it. Most homeowners are adept at detecting when a tradesman has cut a few corners. Find a plumber whose reputation precedes him, so that when you hire him, you know you’ll receive exceptional work.
  • Courtesy. When you invite a plumber into your home, you need him to be courteous and professional. But you also want him to think of your home as an important place, whose cleanliness you take seriously. Find a plumber who is going to keep your home clean while he works, whether by wearing clean booties, or by using a drop cloth.
  • Value. A good plumber will give you exceptional quality at great value. You’ll know exactly what you’re paying for and why the work was performed.

We hope this brief hiring guide helps you find the right plumber for your needs. If you’re looking for a plumber in Lansdale, PA, look no further than Carney Plumbing Heating Cooling for exceptional service at great value. Call us today! 

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Shower Valves and Fittings

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Your shower is the place you go to get clean. But it is also much more than that. You want to be able to enjoy a comfortable showering experience at all times, and for that you need to have the right shower valves and fittings. There are a lot of factors to consider when you are picking out your new shower setup, so it is a good idea to do some research ahead of time to find out what features are really important to you and which you can do without.

First of all, you will need to pick out the type of shower head that you want. There are wall-mounted, ceiling-mounted and hand-held varieties available, so you should think about where you like the water to be coming from and how much flexibility you want to have in that. Some people definitely prefer hand-held shower heads, but for others it is simply a wasted feature.

When you go to buy a shower head, it is also important to have a budget range firmly in your mind. There are so many features available on some of the top of the line models that it can be very tempting to go all out. Be sure that you really consider how likely you are to make use of all of those features before you go and spend the money on them.

The number of controls that your shower has is another item that you will have to consider. The types of controls you need will depend to a certain extent on the water pressure situation in your house and the availability of hot and cold water. For instance, if your shower is susceptible to losing cold or hot water when someone turns it on elsewhere, you will want a shower head that can compensate for that. If that is not an issue for you, however, there is no reason to spend the money for that particular feature.

While you certainly have many feature-based decisions to make when it comes to picking out your new shower valves and fixtures, do not forget to consider aesthetics as well. The look of your new shower matters too and there are so many different fixture styles and finishes that you should have no problem finding one that suits your sense of style.

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Understanding House Ventilation Options

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

All the fancy air quality control tools in the world are useless if you don’t have a good ventilation system to circulate air through your home each day. An air filter removes larger particles like dust, dander and pollen, and an electronic air filter removes smaller particles like bacteria, mold, and gases. However, your indoor air will still be poor without a fresh supply of air constantly circulating in from outdoors.

Types of Ventilators

There are a few options here, depending both on the number of contaminants your home has and the amount of heated or cooled air you are willing to lose each day through vents.

The simplest method is an exhaust fan. Fans blow air from your home, creating a negative pressure zone inside. Air inlets then allow new air to enter your home and equalize that pressure. There are also balanced exhaust fans – one fan blowing indoor air out and another fan pulling fresh air in. If you have open flames or gas burning appliances, a balanced exhaust fan is necessary to keep the flames from going out due to the negative pressure caused by a single outlet exhaust fan.

Traditional ventilation, while simple, is also inefficient. In the middle of winter it blows all of your heated air outside and in the summer, it does the same to your cooled air. Your home comfort system likely can keep up with the loss of heat or cooling, so you won’t be less comfortable, but you will certainly pay more on your energy bill.

That’s why heat and energy recovery ventilators are popular in many homes. Especially if you went to the trouble of having your home sealed up tightly to minimize energy loss, these ventilators will save you money.

When air is ventilated through a recovery unit, the energy and heat is transferred between indoor and outdoor air as it passes. In the winter, this means the energy in your indoor air is retained and during the summer, the energy in outdoor air is removed before it enters your home.

Which Method is Best?

The method you choose will depend largely on your current cost of heating and cooling and what types of contaminants you face. Energy recovery ventilators have the added benefit of patching directly into your indoor air quality units, so you won’t need to worry about new contaminants coming in either.

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What is a Whole House Fan?

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Cooling your home is a big deal. Especially if the temperature in your home is generally very high in the summer, the cost of air conditioning is tremendous. A central air conditioner can cost between $2,000 and $4,000 to run for an average 2,800 square foot home over the course of six months. That’s a lot of electricity just to stay cool.

That’s why a whole house fan is a great option for those that want to forego the use of direct air conditioning for at least part of the year.

What It Does

A whole house fan is different from a standard air conditioner because it doesn’t use a heat exchanger to remove heat from air before it enters your home. That heat exchanger is the culprit for a large percentage of an air conditioner’s energy consumption. A whole house fan can be used when the temperature outside is lower than inside, a common occurrence on moderate days in the summer.

The whole house fan draws air and then cycles it through your air vents without cooling it. The act of moving air through your home, however, is often enough to cool the space to a comfortable level. The size of your whole house fan depends on quite a few things. First, how big is your home? Large homes that require even cooling need a larger fan to draw in air. However, small homes can often get away with models that use as little as 120 Watts of electricity. That’s less than your computer uses.

Choosing a Fan for Your Home

Keep in mind that a whole house fan only works when the temperature outside is lower than inside. If the air outside is excessively humid or if it is very warm in the hottest months of summer, you will still need an air conditioning unit. But, even if you run your air conditioner for two months out of the year, you’ll save a tremendous amount of money in the other four months by operating a whole house fan.

Whole house fans should be used in conjunction with an effective air purification system to ensure all outdoor contaminants are effectively removed before they are cycled through your house. They also require the same level of maintenance and cleaning as a normal AC system. However, with the right care, they work wonders to cut down on your energy bill.

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How Can I Stop My Toilet from Running?

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Nothing is more obnoxious than the constant tinkling sound of a running toilet. When your toilet starts pouring water through at a record rate, it is time to take a peek inside and make sure everything is working properly. Luckily, most of the time, a running toilet is very easy to fix. It may only be that the tank flap or the diaphragm needs adjustment. Here are some quick tips to help you diagnose and repair that running toilet and get back the peace and quiet of your bathroom once and for all.

  1. Going In – Open the tank of your toilet take a close look at the various parts. First, check the ball cock – the valve linked to the large plastic ball that floats on top of the water in your tank. If the noise is coming directly from the valve or you can see obvious issues, the ball cock likely needs to be replaced. Sometimes, it needs only basic cleaning, which you should do first before running out to buy a new part. It also possible that the tank flap is having issues. Look for a small cone in the hole at the base of the tank. Press down on it to see if the sound stops. If it does, the tank flap likely needs replacement.
  2. Turn off the Water Supply – Before doing any more, turn off your toilet’s water supply. Do not worry – you should not need to go hunting for the valve. It is most often located next to the toilet on the floor of your bathroom.
  3. Replacing Your Parts – When replacing any parts for a toilet, always remove the old part first and bring it with you to the hardware store. Almost all toilets have slightly different parts that may not match up universally. By having the part you need, you can give it to an expert in toilet repair and they can quickly find the right replacement.
  4. Careful Replacement – Most of the time, replacement simply involves unscrewing or removing the part and placing a new one in place. However, if you own a low flush toilet or a specialty design that does not have the same parts or layout of a traditional tank-based toilet, you may need the help of a professional to avoid any unwanted accidents or issues in the replacement process.

Ideally, the entire process should only take the better part of a couple hours, including the time it takes to go to the hardware store and purchase your replacement part.

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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 Beauty of Zone Heating

Friday, January 21st, 2011

While it might not technically be a necessity, there are a lot of reasons why you might want to look into having a zone heating system installed in your home. Whether you’ve been using the same home heating system for a long time or are looking to have a new one installed, there’s never a bad time to have a zone heating system put in.

Most people think that the only thing that affects their home heating and cooling bills is the energy efficiency of their furnace or heat pump. However, that’s simply not always the case. Certainly, the more efficient your furnace or heat pump is, the lower your energy bills will be. But that doesn’t mean they’re as low as they could possibly be.

After all, if you don’t have a zone control system installed, you’re paying to heat your entire house every time you turn on the heat. Depending on the size of your house, that could mean you’re heating anywhere from two to 10 rooms or more that are unoccupied at the time. In fact, you could be paying to heat an entire empty wing of your home. And while you’ll pay less than you would if your heating system was less efficient, you’re still paying more than you need to.

With a zone control system, you can heat your home much more efficiently because you can control which areas of the house get the heat and which ones don’t. You can set multiple different temperatures for the different zones of your home, which allows you to keep the occupied areas warm while not forcing you to waste energy to heat unoccupied spaces.

Aside from the economic benefits of only heating the areas of your home that you need, zone control systems also can put an end to some of those contentious thermostat wars that go on in so many households. If the members of your household can never agree on what a comfortable temperature is, they can simply each set their own temperature for their own area of the house.

That way, everyone is happy and no one has to suffer uncomfortably. After all, you paid a lot for your state of the art home heating system. It’s only fitting that you should be able to get the most possible out of it.

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