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

How Much Water Does a Leaky Faucet Waste?

Monday, July 4th, 2011

A leaky faucet is obnoxious for more than one reason. It is incessant, it represents a problem that will probably only grow worse, and it can cost you money on your water bill. Beyond all of that, it wastes a lot of water, putting undue stress on the environment. But, how much water does a leaky faucet actually waste? It may not seem like much, but when added up over a period of time, that leaky faucet’s impact can be fairly substantial.

Okay, so a single drip every couple seconds may not seem like a lot of water. But, think about it this way. If you let your faucet drip every day, twenty four hours a day, it is definitely going to add up. Imagine what would happen if every faucet in your home was dripping or every faucet in your neighbourhood. It would not seem like such a small amount of water anymore.

In terms of how much water is actually wasted, it is impossible to tell for certain. After all, every drop of water from a faucet is a different size and falls at a different rate. But, for the most part the water coming from a faucet (according to the US Geological Survey) is between 1/5 and 1/3 of one milliliter. Using those calculations and 1/4 of a milliliter as an average, the USGS estimates that roughly 15,140 drips from a faucet equals one gallon of water.

It may not seem like much. After all, fifteen thousand drops is a LOT of drops. But, if your faucet dripped once every second every day, all day, it would only take four and a half hours to reach one gallon. Every day you would waste 5 gallons of water or 2,082 gallons per year. That is 10% of the average water used by a standard 3.5 gpf toilet on a daily basis. Now, imagine what happens if you have more than one drippy faucet, or if your bathtub leaks which will drip more water at a time or if the leak is larger than the average size.

In short, the cost of a leaky faucet may not seem like much, but as time passes, it can really add up and if it is not taken care of, the cost will only grow as the leak gets bigger and potentially new leaks start in other faucets of your home. Do not let it drip forever – take action now and cut down on the environmental impact you have, as well as your bill.

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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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What Is SEER?

Friday, May 6th, 2011

If you’ve been looking at air conditioners, you’ve probably noticed that they all seem to have a SEER rating. But what does this actually mean?

The SEER, which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, is a measure of how energy efficient a particular air conditioning model is. So when you’re shopping around for the best deal on an air conditioner for your home, this is something you’ll absolutely want to pay attention to.

Interpreting SEER Ratings

The SEER rating system is relatively simple – the higher the SEER, the more energy efficient the product. But because a higher price tag typically comes with a higher SEER rating, it’s important to know just how much more efficient a higher rated unit will be. It helps you decide whether paying significantly more for a higher rated unit is worth it in long term savings. Will it actually save you enough each month to make up for the difference in price?

Evaluating Your Energy Usage

A big factor here is how much you will use your air conditioner. If you live in a place with very hot and humid summers where the air conditioning runs constantly, you’re probably best off with the highest SEER you can find. When you consume that much energy to keep your home cool, you want to get as much as possible out of it, and that’s what a high SEER model can do for you.

On the other hand, if you live in an area that doesn’t have the harshest summers, you may be better off with a slightly less efficient (and therefore cheaper) model. Keep in mind, too, that the actual percentage increase in energy efficiency goes up by smaller and smaller increments the higher in SEER ratings you get. For instance, while a 10 SEER unit may be almost 20% more efficient than an 8 SEER model, a 12 SEER is only about 10% more efficient than that 10 SEER.

Finding the Right Balance

The best way to decide what SEER rating is best for you is to determine the annual cooling costs with your current unit and then calculate your savings in dollars based on the percentage each model would improve your efficiency. If you don’t currently have an air conditioner, this can be a bit tricky, but a professional contractor or air conditioning salesman can help you estimate your total monthly cooling costs with the various units.

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Types of Septic Systems

Monday, April 11th, 2011

When it comes to septic systems, there are probably more options than you realize. To a certain extent, the type of septic system you choose is determined by the particular conditions around your home. But it is worth learning about the various options so that you can make an informed decision about the kind of system you would like to have.

The more conventional types of septic systems fall into two categories – gravity and pressure distribution. A gravity system, as its name implies, makes use of the force of gravity to drain away waste from your home and into a drainfield.

Gravity systems use gravity to help treat the waste as well, so this type of system requires that you have a particular type of soil and enough space below the ground to allow for proper filtering. If the water table or a layer of hardpan is too close to the ground’s surface around your home, a gravity system may not be an option for you.

Another conventional option is a pressure distribution system. In this setup, a pump regulates the flow of waste from a storage tank to the drainfield. This is the optimal setup if you do not have enough below ground space for a gravity system as the pump makes sure that only the proper amount of waste can enter the drainfield at once and that the waste is distributed evenly when it is pumped in.

There are also several alternative types of septic systems. For instance, mound septic systems are another option to consider when you do not have enough space below ground for a gravity system. In a mound system, the drainfield is actually placed above the surface of the ground and a pump regulates the flow of waste to the field. This allows for adequate treatment before the waste reaches the water table.

Also an option in this type of situation is a sand filter system. This type of septic system incorporates a sand filter holding tank to treat waste before it is allowed out into the drain field. It is another way to make up for the fact that there may not be enough soil to provide adequate filtration but does not require that you build up a mound of earth on your property.

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Dual-Flush Toilets: Another Great Green Plumbing Innovation

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

If you’ve traveled to Europe or Australia, you’ve probably seen toilets with two buttons instead of a single flush handle. Pressing one button flushes the toilet lightly to remove liquid waste, and pressing the other produces a higher-volume flush to remove solid waste.

Originally designed for drought-prone Australia, these water-saving toilets are becoming increasingly popular in North America as well.

Standard 1.6-gallon toilets are a great improvement over older toilets, which used 3 or even more gallons per flush. But dual-flush toilets are even more water-efficient. A “full flush” uses 1.53 gallons per flush, and a “half flush” uses only 1.02 gallons per flush. The result is a reduction of up to 68% in water usage over a conventional toilet (and even more if your conventional toilet is old and leaky).

Of course the savings vary from person to person, but if you use the toilet an average of 5 times a day, you’ll save close to 600 gallons of water every year. For a family of four, that works out to a total savings of 2400 gallons annually. And, since toilet usage typically accounts for roughly a quarter of your water bill, you can end up with a monthly savings of close to 17%.

Another benefit of dual-flush toilets is that most models have a larger trapway for removing waste than conventional toilets – which reduces the likelihood of a clog.

Finally, dual-flush toilets look great. They are sleek, modern, and European-looking, and they perfectly complement a high-end bathroom.

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