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

What Is a Sump Pump?

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

In your home, you may have never experienced a single problem with flooding before. But when a sudden flood does catch you off-guard, you may wish you had taken preventive action sooner. A flood can force you to spend thousands of dollars on repairs, mold remediation, seeking alternative shelter, and replacing lost items. But installing a sump pump keeps you from worrying about the unexpected costs of a flood, whether you’re no stranger to flooding or you’re just trying to protect yourself from future trouble.

For sump pumps or any other installations for your plumbing in Oreland, call on the professionals at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling.

Two types of sump pumps

A sump pump is a component that is typically installed in a basement or the lowest point in your home. These are recommended for homes in areas with low water tables, but they’re useful additions to nearly any home. If your basement begins to fill up with water, your sump pump should turn on and begin draining this water to the outdoors. And flooding may occur due to a storm or even if a neighbor’s pipe were to burst.

There are basically three major parts to a sump pump. There’s the pump that uses an impeller to pull in water. There’s the drainage system that allows it to drain to the outside. And then there’s the “sump” portion, the pit in which the pump is set. Sump pump installation should always involve a professional plumber to properly install the system, size it for your home, and to choose from the two types of sump pumps: submersible and pedestal.

The difference between the two is in how the pump is set up. A submersible unit is set into the pump in a waterproof encasing. A pedestal pump perches above the sump instead. Your technician will select the sump pump based on the size and shape of the sump, but there are a couple of other considerations that may come into play as well. For example, while a submersible pump is usually safer for children and pets, a pedestal pump won’t need as many repairs.

Calling the experts at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling is a great way to ensure your new sump pump works properly, especially when you include sump pump maintenance as part of yearly maintenance for your plumbing in Oreland. Contact our team today!

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Thinking of Switching from Oil to Gas? We Can Help Update Your Heating System

Monday, February 11th, 2013

If you’re thinking about switching from an oil-fired heating system to a gas-fired one in Lansdale, PA, there are many considerations that you need to think about. There are many benefits to switching from oil to gas and you should always consult the services of a professional heating contractor. If you have any questions about the conversion process, the technicians at Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling can help. We thought it would be helpful if we put together some of the benefits of switching from oil to gas.

The Oil to Gas Conversion Process

With an oil-fired heating system, there is a tank on your property that need to be filed on a regular basis. Part of the conversion process is that this tank will need to be dug up and filled in. In some cases, your utility company may provide financial incentives by offering to pay for the removal of your tank. Check with your local utility company.

The next step in the process is to dig a trench from the street to your home to bury the new gas line. This is another long process that can be fairly expensive. However, if you have other gas-fired appliances in your home then you may not need to dig such a trench.

After that, you’ll need to buy a new furnace or boiler that burns natural gas. Furnaces are generally less expensive than boilers. Then the gas line from the street will be connected to the new appliance in your home.

Once the process is complete you’ll have comfortable, inexpensive heating in your home without the need to constantly re-fill your oil tank.

If you’re interested in converting your home from oil to gas in Lansdale, PA, call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. We have experienced and highly trained technicians who can walk you through the process and make it as convenient as possible. Call us today!  

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What Features Should I Look for When Buying an Air Conditioner?

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

There are so many different types and styles of air conditioners on the market these days, it can be difficult to figure out what features are worth paying attention to when it comes time to buy one for yourself.

Of course, the most important thing to do is make sure you get an air conditioner that’s appropriately sized for the space you’re trying to cool. But what should you look for beyond that? Here are a few features you might like to have on the unit you purchase:

  • Energy Efficiency – The more energy efficient your air conditioner is, the less your cooling costs will be. It’s as simple as that. So when you’re evaluating devices, remember that it’s worth paying a little bit more up front for a more energy efficient unit. It will save you money in the long run and you’ll be doing your part to help the environment.
  • Dehumidification – Just about every air conditioner controls humidity to a certain extent in addition to cooling. But some do this better than others. There are also air conditioners with separate dehumidification settings for those days that are more humid than hot. Even when you need both cooling and dehumidification, it’s nice to have control of each of these independently.
  • Timer – Being able to program your air conditioner to switch on and off at different times of day is more than just convenient; it will save you money. You don’t want to leave your air conditioner running all day when you’re not home, but it sure is nice to come home to the comfort of an air conditioned space. If your air conditioner has a timer, you can have both. Just set the unit to come on a half hour or so before you get home and you’ll enjoy cool, refreshing indoor comfort right when you get home without paying through the nose to keep your home cool when no one is there.
  • Easy-to-Use Controls – As simple as this one seems, you might be surprised at how inconvenient the controls on some air conditioners can be. So when you’re evaluating your options, make sure you research how easy each unit is to operate. This can definitely save you from plenty of frustration in the long run.

Air conditioners come in many different shapes and sizes. To make sure your decision works best in your home, do your research well in advance. When the summer heat kicks in, you’ll be glad you did.

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Will Switching to Geothermal Save Me Money?

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

There are simply a ton of different types of heating systems and they are each more appropriate in different situations. However, some are certainly always going to be cheaper to operate than others, although that alone may not make one or the other right for you.

In the case of geothermal heating systems, the operating costs are definitely quite low. But those are not the only costs you will have to think about when you are considering what type of heating system to put in your home to keep your heating bills down.

Geothermal heating systems do not actually generate heat – they absorb it from the ground. Because of this, they actually use very little energy when they are running. All you are really paying to power is the fan that blows the heated air around your house. Also, because geothermal heating systems are more efficient at extracting heat in below freezing conditions than traditional heat pumps, they can continue to keep you warm on their own in more extreme conditions.

Traditional heat pumps, while they also cost very little to operate, do sometimes need to be supplemented by more conventional forms of indoor heating like a furnace when temperatures outdoors get too low. This is not the case with geothermal heat pumps, so if you live somewhere that has colder winters, a geothermal heat pump may be just what you are looking for. Of course, you can always opt for a furnace instead, but these will definitely cost more to run than either type of heat pump.

When you are trying to assess whether or not switching to a geothermal heating system will save you money, you first have to start with the heating bills you currently have. Then, factor in the cost of the geothermal heat pump installation as opposed to the installation of a more conventional system.

You are then in a position to see whether or not the amount the geothermal system will save you each month is enough to offset the higher cost of installation within a reasonable amount of time. Of course, the savings will always eventually add up over time, but if the length of time it will take you to break even is the same or longer than the expected life of the system, it is probably not worth it to invest in this type of heating.

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How to Maximize Savings in Your Home

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

When you are thinking about different ways you might be able to save money around the house, the tendency is to think big. Maybe you need to upgrade to a more energy efficient furnace, or it could be time to install a new central air conditioning system. Maybe it is even a good idea to switch to solar or geothermal power.

But before you do any of that, you may want to try some quick and easy ways to save money around the house with the equipment you already have. Here are 10 great ways to cut your power usage and keep those energy bills down without investing a lot in new equipment.

  1. Seal Up Your House – No matter how energy efficient the heating and cooling systems are in your house, you will be using more energy than necessary if your house is not tightly sealed. Make sure there are not cracks or places where drafts can get in and you will start saving money right away.
  2. The Right Thermostat Setting – Are you really going to notice the difference between 72°F and 69°F? Probably not, but you will save about 3% off of your monthly heating bill for every degree you turn the thermostat down. The same goes in the summer too, just backwards.
  3. Programmable Thermostats – And while we are on the subject of thermostats, it is a good idea to invest in a new one with programmable settings. That way you will be able to set your house to be warm when you will be there and you do not have to pay to keep it warm all day long if it is empty.
  4. Water Heater Temperature – Most hot water heaters are set to about 140°F. However, you really only need your water to be at 120°F. So turn down the hot water heater and you will save a lot.
  5. Ceiling Fans – Ceiling fans can help keep you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Plus, they cost very little to run so they are a great investment.
  6. Light Bulbs – Switching to energy efficient fluorescent bulbs all over your house will save you a ton even though they cost a bit more to begin with.
  7. Lights Out – But energy efficient bulbs will only get you so far. You should also be sure to turn off the lights in any room you are not using.
  8. Insulation – Proper insulation will go a long way towards keeping in the temperature controlled air that you want and keeping out the outdoor air that you do not.
  9. Power Strips – Many home appliances draw a small amount of power even when they are not turned on. Use a power strip to easily cut the power to them completely and eliminate that drain.
  10. Sealing Windows – Plenty of air can come and go through your windows as well. Upgrading to more energy efficient windows is certainly an option, but you can also help to seal up your home inexpensively by covering your windows with plastic.

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Furnace vs. Heat Pump

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

If you’re preparing to replace your existing heating system, you may very well be struggling with the question of whether to go with a furnace or a heat pump for all of your future home heating needs. Each of these systems have their own advantages and drawbacks, and once you’ve narrowed it down to one type or the other, you’ll still have a pretty wide variety of products to choose from.

Furnaces are still the most popular type of home heating equipment on the market. You can get furnaces that run on gas, oil or electricity, although gas furnaces are by far the most common type of furnace around these days. The latest models are extremely energy efficient, with AFUE ratings reaching into the high 90%s.

Like heat pumps, furnaces use ducts to transfer heated air throughout your home. They typically require regular maintenance once every year or two depending on the type of furnace you have, and they can be expected to last anywhere from 15 to 25 years when properly maintained. Most modern furnaces are also made to be compatible with a central air conditioning or cooling system as well.

Heat pumps, on the other hand, don’t generate the heat that they circulate throughout your house. Instead they are able to extract the heat from the air outside and pump it inside. This means that they use much less energy than even the most energy efficient furnaces.

However, heat pumps are only capable of heating your house comfortably when the outside temperature is above freezing. If you live in an area with particularly long and frigid winters, you’ll probably find that you need to supplement your heat pump with another heat source. Because of this, it actually makes little sense to use a heat pump in more extreme climates.

On the other hand, if you live in an area with relatively mild winters, heat pumps can be a great option. They provide a constant flow of warm air to all parts of your home and can also keep you house cool during hot summer months. To cool your home, heat pumps simply reverse the process they use to warm it. They take the heat out of your indoor air and pump it outside. This is a very effective home cooling method and makes heat pumps a great solution for year round comfort.

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Cleaning the Heating Coil: It Can Save You Repairs Later

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Just like any piece of equipment, your furnace needs some regular attention and maintenance to keep it running right. And one of the most important parts of the furnace to pay attention to during these service visits is the heating coil.

Without the heating coil, your furnace simply won’t be able to put out heat to keep your house warm. That’s because the combustion in the furnace is used to heat the coil. Air is then blown across the heating coil so that it can be warmed before being circulated throughout the house.

If your heating coil isn’t kept clean, it’s easy to see how you could end up with all types of problems down the line. And since air is constantly being blown across the coil when the furnace is at work, it’s particularly susceptible to accumulating buildups of debris and sediment.

When this happens, there are several consequences. First of all, your furnace will have a harder time heating your whole house and heating it evenly. As a result, all of the parts of the furnace will have to work overtime to keep your home warm and this can cause them to wear out and break faster. Of course, when that happens, you’ll need professional repairs to get you back on track and you may have to go without heat for some time in the coldest part of the year.

Also, a dirty heating coil won’t be as efficient at transferring heat to the air blowing past, meaning that you’ll be getting less heating power out of the fuel your furnace is consuming to heat your home. Essentially, this will mean your furnace is not functioning at peak energy efficiency and that will certainly be reflected on your monthly heating bills.

But all of this can be avoided by keeping your heating coil clean and in good repair. You will likely need to have a professional take care of this for you and it is a standard part of an annual maintenance visit. While you may have to pay a bit each year for that regular maintenance, you’ll be much better off and save a good deal of money in the long run by having it done and your coil cleaned.

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