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

Plumbing Guide: Water Heater Noises and What They Mean

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Does your water heater rumble or produce a popping noise? What does that mean? While water heaters are constructed to last long, water heater noises may be an indication that your water heater needs professional service. To learn more about water heater noises and how they affect the hot water in your Langhorne, PA home, call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today.

If it sounds as though your water heater is boiling water, it probably is. When sediment collects at the bottom of a tanked water heater, it can cause overheating. The sediment varies greatly, but can contain lime, water scale, silicates, sulfates, aluminates, or silt and sand. This is a common problem and may require periodic system flushing to clear out the build-up.  Homeowners should also consult with their local water heater professionals to see if installing a sediment filter would help to prevent a large amount of build-up.

If you have hard water, merely flushing the system may not work. Because the minerals responsible for hard water—calcium and magnesium—often bind to the insides of the water heater, they cannot be flushed as easily. Because minerals in the water tend to precipitate at the hottest parts of the system, the bottom of your tank water heater is their preferred location. Regular deliming of your system by manual scraping or by a de-liming agent can greatly reduce the chance of permanent water heater damage, and it will also greatly improve the energy-efficiency of your water heater. If you have an electric water heater, lime scale can build upon the electrodes themselves.

Not only will the regular cleaning of your system reduce any irritating noises, the results will benefit your entire water heating system. Your water heater costs will generally be lower than with a system full of scale, and you’ll be extending the life of your water heater. If left alone, you may find you don’t have enough hot water on some days, or that you have dramatically slowed the heat-up rate.

If your water heater requires frequent repair, or if it is very old, consider replacing it with a new model. Not only are today’s water heaters more efficient, but they also tend to last longer. Schedule a consultation with your local water heater technician to learn more about your options in Langhorne, PA. Call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today.

Continue Reading

Plumber’s Tip: Types of Water Treatment Systems

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Are you considering a water treatment system for your Quakertown, PA area home? At Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, we offer water softeners, acid neutralizers, ultraviolet (UV) lights, and water testing and analysis to help you get the cleanest possible water for your home.  If you are not sure which type of water treatment system is right for your home, call one of our water treatment experts to review the different types of systems with you.

Before we can help you decide which water treatment system is best for your home, we will need to test your water to see what contaminants are affecting your water system. With a whole-home water filtration system, you get more purification than installing a faucet filter or with a filtered water pitcher. Whole home systems also protect your pipes from being damaged by minerals in homes with hard water. Whole-house systems are designed to provide your entire home with clean water, and they require basic maintenance that is easy to do.

Acid neutralizers are also called chemical feed pumps, and like water softeners, they use salts and minerals to remove contaminants that may be in your water system, such as arsenic or sulfur. Acid neutralizers are quite safe and can be a cost-effective way to improve the quality of your water.

While you may have heard of using UV germicidal lights for your HVAC system, they can also be used to treat water. Poor water quality can lead to illness, and UV lights kill harmful microorganisms that cause certain illnesses.

We put your safety and comfort first at Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. That’s why we offer water testing, water analysis, and a variety of water treatment systems for your Quakertown, PA area home. Call today to set up a consultation.

Continue Reading

Benefits of Heating Maintenance for Your Furnace

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Your furnace is like any other piece of equipment in your Langhorne home in terms of what it needs to continue to function at a high level – namely, routine professional maintenance. Even if your furnace is relatively new, it’s never too early to start planning to keep it in good working condition for years to come. Routine heating maintenance is the best way to ensure your furnace will always work when you need it to.

Better Energy Efficiency

One of the most immediate benefits of regular furnace maintenance is the boost you’ll see in your system’s energy efficiency as reflected in lower energy bills going forward. Even the newest, most efficient furnace will lose a measure of its energy efficiency every year. While this drop might not be noticeable at first, it will quickly add up to create higher heating costs for you. But a simple tuneup every year from a Langhorne heating technician can almost completely eliminate this loss in efficiency.

Fewer Repairs

A regular checkup also allows an experienced technician to go through your entire heating system to find any parts that need to be replaced and other issues that could cause problems later on down the line. Addressing these small issues early makes it less likely you’ll need emergency repairs in the middle of winter when your heating system suddenly shuts off. And that saves you both money and aggravation.

Avoid Premature Replacement

Keeping up with regular furnace maintenance will also extend the life of your system, making your initial investment go farther and allowing you to postpone replacement. And that’s always a good thing for your budget as well as for your peace of mind.

With so many benefits stemming from routine maintenance for your heating system, there really is no reason not to get it done. It’s actually quite a quick and inexpensive process, and you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that you did everything you could to make sure your family is warm and comfortable all winter long.
To schedule a heating maintenance visit in Langhorne or the surrounding area, give Carney Plumbing, Heating and Cooling a call!

Continue Reading

Why is it Important to Keep Your AC Condenser Coils Clean?

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Condenser coils perform an essential function of conditioning hot, moist air and replacing it with cool, dry air.  During this process the continual circulation of air causes airborne pollutants such as dirt, dust, grass, lint, moisture and other debris to land on the coils, building up until it gets clogged.  A clogged or dirty AC condenser coil is most definitely a problem.

The main problem with dirty coils is that it decreases how well the AC actually cools.  A clogged coil can mean deceased air flow through the coils, which in turn means your Doylestown air conditioning system will be less efficient.

Clean condenser coils can yield higher performance levels, cleaner indoor air, and a longer life expectancy of the unit, while also saving money in electricity costs. Performance levels of air conditioners with dirty coils drop by as much as 30%!

When air passes over a dirty condenser coil and is then pushed into indoor air after being cooled it only stands to reason that some of that dirt and debris gets taken indoors as well.  It can also cause moisture problems on the coils which could result in bacteria or mold spores growing, and might reduce indoor air quality in your home.

Dirty coils can also cause the AC to work at higher temperatures and higher pressure which means the lubricant cannot easily be broken down. This can make the unit freeze over, eventually causing compressor failure.

Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling can help clean your condenser coil during a regular AC maintenance checkup – give us a call today if you need AC service!

Continue Reading

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!

Continue Reading

What Are Thermostatic Expansion Valves?

Monday, June 11th, 2012

The thermostatic expansion valve, sometimes known as a TEX, TEV or TXV, is a critical piece to influence the efficiency of your Blue Bell air conditioning and refrigeration units.  A tiny sensor controlling the evaporating phase of process, the valve can have a big effect.

Cool air is manufactured by a re rapid movement of a refrigerant between liquid and gaseous states.  Compound chemicals that are able to do this at a low temperature are compressed and expanded, absorbing and releasing heat at different points along the way.  The TEV controls the flow of the refrigerant into the evaporator coils according to the temperatures of the various ingredients.

Cool Air 101

To condition air, the refrigerant, most often freon or another fast acting, low temp compound, evaporates into a gas that runs through a coil and absorbs heat.  Passing through a compressor, the freon condenses under pressure back into a liquid again and releases the heat, becoming cool enough to chill a party.

Too much freon in the evaporator tube and the pressure is not low enough to expand to gas and absorb heat, working inefficiently for no gain.  Too little freon and the conversion is also ineffective by not reaching the density needed to condense.

There are four types of valves with different benefits for different types of cooling environments.  With its ability to adjust minutely to changing conditions, the thermal expansion valve creates the perfect mixture of pressure and freon for more complicated systems.

At the Starting Gate

An interactive device, the valve senses the evaporator pressure and temperature and adjusts the flow of the refrigerant so as to maintain a given “superheat”, the differ­ence between the refrigerant vapor temperature and its sat­uration temperature.  By controlling superheat, the TEV keeps nearly the entire evaporator surface active while not permit­ting liquid refrigerant to return to the compressor.

Some valves operate on an electrical impulse from sensors that can measure the temperatures.  Others are open all the time.  The thermostatic expansion valve actually utilizes the pressure between the two sections to open or close itself, regulating flow based on the very same pressure it is designed to moderate.

Like the buildings they comfort, Blue Bell central air conditioning systems are varied and diverse.  There are nearly as many thermostatic expansion valves as there are units to receive them. Call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today if you need any air conditioning service in the Blue Bell area!

Continue Reading

Energy Efficiency Tips Everyone Should Know

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Before you decide which upgrades will make your Willow Grove home more efficient, it would be best to get a home energy audit. You can do this yourself with a few simple tests, or you can hire a professional auditor. The auditor will use advanced equipment and techniques, such as blower doors and infrared cameras, to detect air leaks and places that need more insulation.

When your home is properly insulated and sealed, here are some upgrades you’ll want to think about to make your home more efficient.

High-Efficiency Furnaces & Heat Pumps

If you have an old single-stage furnace, it is time to upgrade. These furnaces were designed to run on two settings—either off or on, and when they are on, they run at full speed. Not only do they lose heat this way, but they also take longer to warm up your home. The new two-speed and multispeed models run at lower speeds to maintain a constant temperature. You can also buy ones with variable-speed blowers that operate on various speeds, which are the most efficient. Heat pumps are a good option if you need both heat and A/C in your home. While most heat pumps are manufactured to be efficient by design, the newer models are the most efficient way to heat and cool your home. If you have a heat pump older than 15 years, talk to an HVAC technician about a heat pump replacement.

Solar & Tankless Water Heaters

When you’ve upgraded your heating system, it may be time to install a more efficient water heater. Solar water heaters are gaining popularity, and they are the most efficient way to save hot water if certain factors are in place, such as sunlight exposure and high fuel costs. Tankless water heaters heat your water with individual units located near hot water applications. You also have the option of installing a single, whole-home tankless water heater, or for appliances that use more hot water, such as dishwashers and washing machines, you can install tankless models just for their use.

Water-Saving Toilets & Low-flow Plumbing Fixtures

Duel flush, or water-saving toilets are an excellent choice for an upgrade if you want to save water. These toilets use less water overall, and you have the option of using more or less water each time you flush. Installing low flow faucets and fixtures can also provide up to 60% in utility savings. Low flow plumbing fixtures reduce the flow rate for each fixture or application, which reduces the overall amount water used in the home. These are a good option if you’ve installed a tankless water heating system. Your tankless water heaters will be more efficient if the sum of the flow rate total for every fixture in the home is lower.

Don’t hesitate to call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling if you have any questions about upgrading your Willow Grove home.

Continue Reading

Signs that You Have Hard Water in Your Plumbing

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Hard water is fairly common, even in a place like Blue Bell. It is called hard water because of the minerals in it, such as calcium, iron and lime. Depending on how “hard” the water is, it’s usually perfectly healthy, but can cause some other problems throughout the home.

Hard water can negatively affect the durability of household appliances like dishwashers and washing machines, as well as pipes and fixtures throughout the home. How do you know if you have hard water? Here are some common signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for:

  1. A white, scaly, filmy residue left behind on plumbing fixtures. In particular, you may notice these on showerheads, on stainless fixtures like the basin of your kitchen sink, on your silverware or in the coffee pot.
  2. Clothes that are not getting as clean as they should in the laundry. This is because hard water is less effective at washing away dirt. Likewise, you may notice soap scum residue in your tub or shower.
  3. Little or no lather from shampoo or soap while showering.
  4. A reddish tinge to hair over time. This is due to iron in the water that can temporarily change hair color in the shower.
  5. Water takes a long time to heat, or heating costs that are higher than usual. This is because hard water requires more heat than water with fewer minerals in it.
  6. A foul odor emanating from your water.

If you notice any of these signs, or a combination of them, you may have hard water. There are certain things you can do to control the effects of hard water, such as using a commercial mineral remover to dissolve deposits left on showerheads and other fixtures. Vinegar also works well.

However, the best thing to do is to treat hard water so that it does not damage your plumbing system. A licensed plumber can help you do this by adding water softener to your water supply, among other treatments. These are things that need to be done on an ongoing basis, but will help extend the life of your expensive appliances and plumbing system.

Continue Reading

Why is My Furnace Turning On and Off?

Friday, November 18th, 2011

One of the most annoying things your furnace can do is to constantly keep turning on and off. This on-off cycling keeps your Yardley home from heating up properly. This action – called short cycling – also requires more electricity and drives up utility bills.

Short cycling is caused by an overheated furnace, which triggers safety mechanisms and shuts down the furnace. After a brief interval and cooling down, the furnace starts up again the cycle keeps repeating itself. Not only is it an annoyance, it can also signal more serious problems. A leaking heat exchanger can cause a furnace to overheat – and produce deadly carbon monoxide gas.

If a furnace is working too hard and overheating, it is usually because of airflow in and out. Your home’s ventilation system needs to be clear of dirt, dust, and debris. The more blockage in your ductwork and vents, the more friction is created, slowing down airflow and ultimately ending with an overworked furnace that continues to cycle on and off. And a blocked exhaust vent, such as a chimney or dedicated exhaust vent, can also cause a furnace to work harder. Check for things like leaves or bird’s nests.

The blockage may also be coming from a clogged furnace filter. You should clean or replace your furnace filter after a visual inspection reveals any type of build-up of dust or dirt. Do this at least every three-six months.

If you have a two-speed fan on your furnace, it is recommended that you run the fan in low speed during the cold months and high speed in the warm months. The reason? Warm air is lighter and takes less force to move.

There are other measures to take to prevent short cycling but these usually require a professional heating and cooling service technician to correct the problem. If in doubt, call your local qualified heating and cooling contractor and schedule a furnace inspection. Don’t make your furnace work any harder than it was designed for – and keep your home’s occupants comfortable and safe.

Continue Reading

How to Install a Toilet: A Guide From Ambler

Friday, October 7th, 2011

A toilet is a relatively basic piece of plumbing equipment, but that does not mean that installing it in your Ambler house is easy. This is certainly a job that many people can do on their own, but you should be prepared to devoting the majority of your day to the project. While the installation itself is not terribly complicated, it is quite important that you get it right, so make sure you have all of the necessary materials, equipment and tools before you begin.

The first thing to remember is that you need to install your toilet in an appropriate place relative to the rest of your bathroom plumbing. Especially if you are installing your toilet along a branch drain, make sure that the sink, shower and any other plumbing fixtures are upstream of the spot where you will be installing the toilet.

You will also need to make sure that you install the toilet an appropriate distance from the wall. You need to be able to get around the toilet, and you also want to leave space so that work can be performed on the unit later. Putting your toilet too close to the wall can cause all kinds of complications in the way the unit functions and there is also a possibility of condensation build-up. For all of these reasons, it is important to make sure you are allowing an adequate amount of space on all sides.

The procedure you will have to follow when installing a toilet will be slightly different depending on whether you are installing it in a new spot or simply replacing an existing unit. When replacing an old toilet, you need to remove everything involved in the previous installation. That means taking the old bolts out of the floor and scraping away any residue to ensure that you have a clean and even surface to begin your installation on.

You should also make sure that you are aware of all applicable local codes before you begin your work. Even if you technically install your toilet correctly, you could run into trouble later on if your installation is not actually up to code. It is also important to remember to level all of your fixtures before you complete the installation process and to make sure you use a dielectric or brass fitting when attaching galvanized steel and copper to each other.

Continue Reading