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

Why Correctly Sizing Your Air Conditioner Is Important

Monday, May 25th, 2015

When it comes to a new air conditioning installation, including replacing an outdated system, it’s very important to take a few steps before purchasing and installing your new system. One of these steps is determining what size of air conditioner you really need for your home. Many people go by the “rule of thumb” that you only need the square footage of your home to correctly estimate this; this is not correct. To correctly determine the right-sized AC, you need to determine what is known as the cooling load.

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Are Foul Odors from a Drain a Sign that I Need Sewer Repair?

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

The sewer line is the pipe that runs from your drains underneath your property to carry wastewater from your home into the municipal sewer. When there’s a problem with the sewer line that helps to evacuate sewage into the sewer, you’re responsible for handling any repairs up until your sewer line meets the sewer main. This means that, unfortunately, you’ll have to deal with finding a solution for the foul odors that sometimes go along with sewer repair.

A sewer line in need of repair will often, sadly, bring unpleasant smells along with it. But is this always the case? And are foul odors always a sign of a sewage line issue? We’ll address these questions on today’s guide to drainage problems and sewer repair in Lower Gwynedd.

Sometimes, odors are a sign that your sewer line has sprung a leak. However, if the leak is underneath your property, it’s unlikely that you’ll smell it in the drains. Rather, sewage will leak outside, possibly causing your yard to smell instead. If the leak occurs in a drain line behind the walls, an odor is likely to penetrate your home. If there is a major clog in your sewer line, sewage may backup into the drains, a probable source of unpleasant drain odors. Smells may also be contributed to sewer lines that are improperly vented, which means your plumber will have to install new vents.

Here’s something to ask yourself when you notice a smell from only one of the drains: when was the last time you used it? If it’s been a while since you’ve turned on the faucet or fixture that empties into that drain, there may be a very simple solution. Try simply running the water. The P-trap underneath a drain, the curved section of pipe that fills with water to prevent you from smelling the odors emitting deep from the sewer pipes, can dry out if left unused for a long time. Simply running the water can restore the amount of water necessary to block out the smell.

Call Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling to learn whether drain cleaning, leak detection, or sewer repair in Lower Gwynedd can keep away foul odors and any additional plumbing system unpleasantness.

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Plumbing Tip: What is a Faucet Aerator?

Monday, May 21st, 2012

A tap aerator or faucet aerator is located on the tip of water faucets which are used indoors such as kitchen and bathroom sink faucets.  Their purpose is to spread the water stream into a number of smaller streams, in essence adding air to the water stream.  This saves the amount of water which comes out of the tap at one time while also reducing the amount of backsplash which occurs when the faucet is turned on.

Utilizing faucet aerators in your Doylestown plumbing can be one of the most inexpensive ways to save money on water consumption and save energy.

There are two main types of faucet aerators, some which use metal or plastic screens to separate the water, and some which do not use screens. One advantage to those without screens is that they eliminate problematic clogging which occurs on screen aerators due to sediment buildup.  There are also aerators with off-valves and swivel aerators which allow users to direct flow to wherever the water spray is needed.

There are three main flow-types seen today. The needle method creates a circular pattern of small, single streams of water with no water-flow in the very center.  The aerated method created a tubular flow with air mixed into the water, creating a single stream of bubbly water.  The laminar method has no air mixed in which makes for a single stream of water with no bubbles.

Many aerators are designed as more economical low-flow aerators which optimize the water flow while still providing optimal water-flow performance.  In kitchens these low-flow options decrease flow from 2.2 gallons per minute to 1.5 gpm or 1.0 gpm, saving anywhere from 32% to 54% of water-usage.  On bathroom faucets the water-flow is decreased from 2.2 gpm to 1.0 gpm or even 0.5 gpm saving from 77% to 84% of water usage.  When engineered properly, low-flow or economic aerators can provide increased perceived water pressure while in actuality helping to save water.

When purchasing new faucet aerators, ensure that you find the proper type (male or female) and the proper size (regular or small).  There are dual-thread options for those who do not know whether a male or female aerator is necessary.  Also, look at the tap aerator’s price in conjunction with how much savings it can provide in water usage annually and see how little must be spent on each faucet in order to save hundreds of dollars.

For any help upgrading your Doylestown home’s plumbing, give Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling a call!

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What Is the Best Temperature to Heat My Home?

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Saving on energy costs is important for every Gwynedd Valley homeowner, but it’s not always clear what the average temperature would need to be in order to lower your heating bills. Generally, it’s best not to turn your thermostat above 68°F when you are at home, and to turn it down ten to fifteen degrees when you leave the house or while you’re sleeping. This can save up to 15% on your heating bills, but keep in mind that this percentage is greater in milder climates than colder climates.

Remembering to turn down the heat when you don’t need it is the biggest challenge when trying to save heat. One of the easiest ways to do this is to install a programmable thermostat that allows you to set the times you want the heat turned up or down. This will ensure that you are consistent with turning your heat down, and you can set it to turn on before you get up in the morning so that the house is already warm when you get out of bed. Depending on the brand and setting options, programmable thermostats are relatively inexpensive and easy to install.

One common misunderstanding about thermostats is that it takes more energy for the heating system to warm up the house after the thermostat has been turned down for an extended period of time. The belief is that the energy saved by not producing heat is cancelled out by the work it takes to heat up the home again.  This is not the case, however, since the lower the temperature is inside your home, the longer it takes to lose heat. You will actually save more energy the longer the thermostat is set at a lower temperature. Conversely, the same theory applies to the cost of cooling your home in the summer, since higher interior temperatures slow down the flow of heat into the home.

Overall, if you want to save on heating costs, you should keep your home below 70°F as much as possible, and turn down the thermostat about fifteen degrees when you don’t need the heat. Closing off the doors and vents to unused rooms will also save energy, and you can put on extra clothing to help remind you to turn down the heat a few degrees while you are home. You don’t have to spend a fortune to heat your Gwynedd Valley home if you are consistent with your thermostat settings.

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Five Important HVAC Maintenance Tips

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Do you have a “mental checklist” of chores that need to be done a regular basis around your Solebury home, such as cleaning the window treatments, washing windows, shampooing rugs, etc.? There are various areas of your home that need regular maintenance and cleaning – and that list includes your heating and cooling (HVAC) equipment. Do you know a poorly operating furnace can cost you in increased energy usage and higher utility bills? That same poorly operating furnace can be discharging harmful carbon monoxide gas into your home, creating a health risk.

So, it is important to keep your furnace in peak operating condition and the best way to do that is by making a checklist of HVAC maintenance tasks. Let’s look at five of them.

  1. Check your filters. Routine replacement of your furnace filters should be every 1-3 months, depending on the indoor air quality of your home, number of occupants, size, etc. You can purchase disposable filters online, at a local “big box’ retailer, or from your local HVAC contractor. A visual inspection of your filter is the best way to determine if it needs replacing. If you have a removable electronic filter, it should be cleaned every few months using soapy water and a hose. Any restrictions to air flow through the filters can lead to poor indoor air quality and will cause your furnace to work even harder to circulate warm air through your duct system.
  2. Clean and insect the blower assembly and motor. You can do this with a vacuum. Also check the fan belt to make sure it is not too loose or if it has any cracks or splits.
  3. Look for any obstructions in vents and returns. Believe it or not, your furnace needs “help” to operate. Any build-up of dirt or debris around the grilles of your ventilation system will just make your furnace work a lot harder. Do a visual check inside and outside and pay special attention to flues and chimneys, where indoor air is exhausted. Any blockage can result in an accumulation of poisonous carbon monoxide gas.
  4. Keep the area clean and clear around your furnace and water heater. Never store flammable liquids near your heating equipment. Your furnace room is not a storage closet.
  5. Revisit your home’s insulation. When was the last time you checked out the insulation in your attic or crawlspace? Is it securely in place or drooping down? Are there bald spots where the insulation has deteriorated? Is the insulation sufficient or should it be upgrade?

Tips 1 and 2 relate directly to furnace maintenance but tips 3 to 5 are equally important, having a direct bearing on how your furnace performs and its ultimate efficiency. If you follow all five tips and have an annual inspection from a qualified HVAC contractor, you should enjoy a fall season of comfort, warmth, and safety.

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When to Replace Your Air Conditioning System

Monday, August 1st, 2011

One of the last things you probably want to think about is replacing your current air conditioning system, especially during a hot summer in Telford. However, the time will come when you can no longer ignore the fact that your air conditioning system is not getting the job done like it used to. And considering your replacement options early can help save you a lot of money and aggravation in the long run.

Before you can start looking at replacement options, though, you need to be aware that the time has come to replace your current model. But how can you tell that your air conditioner is on its way out? Well, there are actually quite a few warning signs that, if you are attuned to them, will help you determine whether or not it is the right time to replace.

First of all, if you have to call for repairs, even minor ones, on a regular basis, chances are that you would be better off replacing rather than continuing to patch up the air conditioning system you already have. This is true for several reasons including the fact that a system that requires repairs so often is probably not going to last you much longer anyway.

By replacing now rather than continuing to pay for repairs, you will save a lot of money in the long run. After all, you are going have to pay for the new system sooner or later, so you might as well skip the shelling out of extra cash to repair a system you are just going to get rid of anyway.

Problems like inadequate or uneven cooling or mismanaged humidity levels in your home are a good sign that something is not working right in your air conditioning system and that it may be time to replace. At the very least, you should call someone out to take a look and let you know what type of repairs you are looking at.

You should also think about replacing an older system even if it is still working fine because the newer systems available are much more energy efficient than even the top of the line models available ten years ago. While you will have to pay the purchase and installation cost up front, you will immediately begin to save substantial amounts on your monthly cooling bills.

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